August FAA Charts To Include MOA Frequencies
Starting with aviation charts to be released in August, the FAA will print contact information that will make it easier for pilots to decide whether it is OK to fly through a Military Operating Area (MOA) or if it's better to go around. With more pilots trying to improve their route efficiency to save on fuel, the change is a timely one -- if long overdue. "For more than a decade, AOPA has been advocating that the military and FAA work together to chart these frequencies," said Pete Lehmann, AOPA manager of air traffic services. "This is a move in the right direction to allow all pilots to access real-time data regarding the status of special-use airspace." The new FAA charts will provide contact frequencies for an FAA center controller, military air traffic controller, or range control officer for each MOA and restricted area, AOPA said, so pilots can check to see if the airspace is active, and if it is, at what altitudes.
"Often, when MOAs are active, the military is using a higher floor than what is printed on the chart," said AOPA. "In these cases, pilots can find out the floor and decide whether they can safely fly under it." The change will hopefully prevent encounters like the one between two GA pilots and an Air Force F-16 earlier this year, which was discussed extensively in AVweb's blog and examined in-depth in Aviation Safety magazine in May.