"Radiation" NOTAM Confusing
Pilots planning a trip up the California coast might have been alarmed by a NOTAM issued by the FAA for the Point Mugu area, just north of Los Angeles, earlier this week. The NOTAM advised of a "radiation hazard" for a 1.5-mile radius up to 8,000 feet around Point Mugu Naval Air Station and said the area is "continuously hot." Since Point Mugu NAS is the Navy's missile and weapons test center, it might be assumed (not by anyone we know, of course) that the NOTAM referred to some kind of nuclear mishap. Fortunately that wasn't the case. A spokesman for the FAA's Los Angeles operations center said the NOTAM was issued to allow the Navy to test some type of radar (hence the term radiation) at the base. Despite the heavy military activity around the base, the area is also heavily used by civilian traffic.