…Notification Irregularities Alleged…


AOPA has joined the battle and has accused the FAA of not providing proper notification of the 30-day comment period regarding the Navy’s intentions in North Carolina. AOPA spokeswoman Heidi Williams told the Daily News it only heard about the plan because a member who was “one of the very few to receive notification” faxed it to AOPA headquarters. The FAA maintains all concerned parties, including AOPA, were notified but that some of the letters were returned as undeliverable. Williams said that considering the massive opposition to the MOAs, poor distribution of the notices “forces us [AOPA] to wonder if the lack of notification was deliberate.” For its part, the Navy contends that military and GA can coexist safely as long as everyone is following the rules. Spokesman Dan Brown said military controllers know the whereabouts of all military aircraft within the MOA and GA pilots can contact the controllers with their intentions. When military controllers are too busy to deal with GA pilots, VFR rules apply, with pilots ensuring their own separation. “If (civilian pilots) are out there flying and that MOA’s active, they can fly through that MOA VFR,” Brown said. “Pilots that use MOAs know that it’s unrestricted to general aviation.” Transient pilots are advised not to become bug spatter on the windscreen of some high-speed military hardware.