EAA Unconcerned With Airspace Changes

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A shift of airspace responsibilities from Chicago Center to Milwaukee should have little impact on the annual migration to EAA AirVenture, EAA's Dick Knapinski told AVweb Monday. "A review of the situation indicate[s] that this particular issue involves IFR operations," Knapinski said in an e-mail. "The vast majority of AirVenture operations are VFR, and we are not anticipating any problems with staffing or operations." In a well-publicized news event in Milwaukee last week, the National Air Traffic Controllers Association and several prominent state and federal politicians blasted the FAA for shifting responsibility for a big chunk of Wisconsin airspace to Milwaukee controllers, who they claim are already overworked and understaffed. Wisconsin Sen. Russ Feingold wrote Acting FAA Administrator Bobby Sturgell to complain about the airspace shift, saying Milwaukee isn't equipped to handle the extra load, citing training deficiencies and a lack of qualified controllers for the new airspace. "We find these reports from Wisconsin very troubling, and would like to know what long- and short-term actions the FAA is taking alleviate the growing stress on the air traffic control system nationwide and particularly in Wisconsin," Feingold wrote.