Modification of the Class B Airspace Area; Atlanta, GA, 60419-60423 [06-8688]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 198 / Friday, October 13, 2006 / Rules and Regulations Docket at the location provided under the caption ADDRESSES. List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 39 Air transportation, Aircraft, Aviation safety, Incorporation by reference, Safety. Adoption of the Amendment Accordingly, pursuant to the authority delegated to me by the Administrator, the Federal Aviation Administration amends part 39 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (14 CFR part 39) as follows: ■ PART 39—AIRWORTHINESS DIRECTIVES 1. The authority citation for part 39 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40113, 44701. § 39.13 [Amended] EMBRAER Service Bulletin 145LEG–30– 0002, Revision 01, dated January 4, 2005. (1) Install complete electrical connections and provisions to add an additional indication device to the clear-ice indication system, as specified in Part I of the Accomplishment Instructions of the service bulletin. (2) Modify the electrical connections of factory-provisioned airplanes to add an additional indication device to the clear-ice indication system, as specified in Part II of the Accomplishment Instructions of the service bulletin. (3) Remove the ‘‘Clear-Ice Inoperative’’ placard and reactivate the clear-ice additional indicator lamp, as specified in Part III of the Accomplishment Instructions of the service bulletin. (4) Replace the existing clear-ice indicator lamp with a new, improved lamp having a new part number, as specified in Part IV or V of the Accomplishment Instructions of the service bulletin. ■ Actions Accomplished Per Previous Issues of Service Bulletins 2006–21–04 Empresa Brasileira De Aeronautica S.A. (EMBRAER): Amendment 39–14788. Docket 2004– NM–36–AD. (c) Actions accomplished before the effective date of this AD in accordance with EMBRAER Service Bulletin 145–30–0035, Revision 02, dated January 6, 2005, are considered acceptable for compliance with the corresponding actions specified in this AD. 2. Section 39.13 is amended by adding the following new airworthiness directive: erjones on PROD1PC72 with RULES Applicability: Model EMB–145XR airplanes, as listed in EMBRAER Service Bulletin 145–30–0035, Revision 03, dated March 8, 2005; and Model EMB–135BJ airplanes, as listed in EMBRAER Service Bulletin 145LEG–30–0002, Revision 01, dated January 4, 2005; certificated in any category. Compliance: Required as indicated, unless accomplished previously. To prevent undetected build-up of clear ice on the wing surfaces, which could lead to reduced controllability of the airplane, accomplish the following: Modification of Clear-Ice Indication System (a) For Model EMB–145XR airplanes: Within 24 months or 5,000 flight hours after the effective date of this AD, whichever comes first, perform the actions specified in paragraphs (a)(1) and (a)(2) of this AD, as applicable, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of EMBRAER Service Bulletin 145–30–0035, Revision 03, dated March 8, 2005. (1) Install complete electrical connections and provisions to add an additional indication device to the clear-ice indication system, as specified in Part I of the Accomplishment Instructions of the service bulletin. (2) Replace the existing clear-ice indication lamp with a new lamp having a new part number, as specified in Part II of the Accomplishment Instructions of the service bulletin. (b) For Model EMB–135BJ airplanes: Within 24 months or 5,000 flight hours after the effective date of this AD, whichever comes first, perform the actions in paragraphs (b)(1), (b)(2), (b)(3), and (b)(4) of this AD, as applicable, in accordance with the Accomplishment Instructions of VerDate Aug<31>2005 13:09 Oct 13, 2006 Jkt 211001 Alternative Methods of Compliance (d)(1) In accordance with 14 CFR 39.19, the Manager, International Branch, ANM–116, FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, is authorized to approve alternative methods of compliance for this AD. (2) Before using any AMOC approved in accordance with § 39.19 on any airplane to which the AMOC applies, notify the appropriate principal inspector in the FAA Flight Standards Certificate Holding District Office. Note 1: The subject of this AD is addressed in Brazilian airworthiness directive 2004–01– 01, effective January 27, 2004. Incorporation by Reference (e) Unless otherwise specified in this AD, the actions must be done in accordance with EMBRAER Service Bulletin 145–30–0035, Revision 03, dated March 8, 2005; or EMBRAER Service Bulletin 145LEG–30– 0002, Revision 01, dated January 4, 2005; as applicable. This incorporation by reference was approved by the Director of the Federal Register in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51. To get copies of this service information, contact Empresa Brasileira de Aeronautica S.A. (EMBRAER), P.O. Box 343—CEP 12.225, Sao Jose dos Campos—SP, Brazil. To inspect copies of this service information, go to the FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington; or to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this material at the NARA, call (202) 741– 6030, or go to http://www.archives.gov/ federal_register/code_of_federal_regulations/ ibr_locations.html. PO 00000 Frm 00007 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 60419 Effective Date (f) This amendment becomes effective on November 17, 2006. Issued in Renton, Washington, on October 4, 2006. Kalene C. Yanamura, Acting Manager, Transport Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. E6–16895 Filed 10–12–06; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA–2006–25831; Airspace Docket No. 06–AWA–1] RIN 2120–AA66 Modification of the Class B Airspace Area; Atlanta, GA AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Final rule; request for comments. SUMMARY: This action makes minor modifications to the floor of the Atlanta, GA, Class B airspace area in order to contain large, turbine-powered aircraft within Class B airspace during simultaneous triple instrument landing system (STILS) operations at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL). In addition, this action makes two editorial changes to the Atlanta Class B airspace legal description. The FAA is taking this action to enhance safety and to prevent significant air traffic delays in the National Airspace System (NAS). DATES: Effective 0901 UTC, October 26, 2006. Comments must be received on or before November 27, 2006. The Director of the Federal Register approves this incorporation by reference action under 1 CFR part 51, subject to the annual revision of FAA Order 7400.9 and publication of conforming amendments. ADDRESSES: Address your comments in triplicate to the Docket Management System, U.S. Department of Transportation, Room Plaza 401, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590–0001. You must identify FAA Docket No. FAA–2006–25831 and Airspace Docket No. 06–AWA–1, at the beginning of your comments. You may also submit comments through the Internet at http://dms.dot.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Paul Gallant, Airspace and Rules, Office of System Operations Airspace and AIM, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue, SW., E:\FR\FM\13OCR1.SGM 13OCR1 60420 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 198 / Friday, October 13, 2006 / Rules and Regulations Washington, DC 20591; telephone: (202) 267–8783. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Comments Invited The FAA is adopting this final rule without prior notice and comment. The Regulatory Policies and Procedures of the Department of Transportation (DOT) (44 FR 1134; February 26, 1979) provide that to the maximum extent possible, operating administrations for the DOT should provide an opportunity for public comment on regulations issued without prior notice. Accordingly, we invite interested persons to participate in this rulemaking by submitting such written date, views, or arguments, as they may desire. Communications should identify both docket numbers (FAA Docket No. FAA– 2006–25831 and Airspace Docket No. 06–AWA–1) and be submitted in triplicate to the Docket Management System (see ADDRESSES section for address and phone number). You may also submit comments through the Internet at http://dms.dot.gov. Commenters wishing the FAA to acknowledge receipt of their comments on this action must submit with those comments a self-addressed, stamped postcard on which the following statement is made: ‘‘Comments to FAA Docket No. FAA–2006–25831 and Airspace Docket No. 06–AWA–1.’’ The postcard will be date/time stamped and returned to the commenter. erjones on PROD1PC72 with RULES Availability of Final Rule An electronic copy of this document may be downloaded through the Internet at http://dms.dot.gov. Recently published rulemaking documents can also be accessed through the FAA’s Web page at http://www.faa.gov or the Federal Register’s Web page at http:// www.gpoaccess.gov/fr/index.html. You may review the public docket containing the final rule and any comments received in person in the Dockets Office (see ADDRESSES section for address and phone number) between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. Background On May 27, 2006, a new runway (10/ 28) was commissioned at ATL. The new runway allowed the introduction of simultaneous triple arrival operations at Atlanta which led to a significant decrease in arrival delays at the airport. For example, arrival delays in June 2006 were 1,349 compared to 5,401 in June 2005 (Note: triple arrivals did not actually begin at Atlanta until June 8, 2006). In July 2006, arrival delays were 257 as opposed to 8,059 delays in July VerDate Aug<31>2005 13:09 Oct 13, 2006 Jkt 211001 2005. August 2006 recorded 323 delays versus 7,352 in August 2005. Additionally, since the start of triple arrival procedures, ground delay programs for aircraft destined to Atlanta decreased (from 42 in July/August 2005 to zero in July/August 2006), miles-intrail restrictions were reduced for adjacent air route traffic control centers, and on-time performance for Atlanta’s customers saw significant improvement. Initial modeling of the new procedures, conducted several years ago, indicated that STILS approaches could be accomplished within the confines of the current Class B airspace configuration. Further modeling, conducted in the fall of 2005, indicated that the volume of arrivals to the north runway (8L/26R) would have to be managed, but aircraft could still be contained within the confines of Class B airspace. However, after the actual implementation of STILS approaches in June 2006, it was found that when STILS approaches were conducted during those periods when both peak traffic volume and instrument flight rules (IFR) weather conditions existed, aircraft on approach to Runway 8L/26R would exit and reenter Class B airspace when between 25 and 20 nautical miles (NM) from the airport. Experience showed that, when STILS was in progress in IFR conditions and the traffic volume was running at the airport’s maximum efficiency arrival rate, airspace constraints made it necessary for air traffic control to place the Runway 8L/26R arrivals at 5,000 feet MSL in order to provide proper separation from aircraft on approach to the center runway. An aircraft at 5,000 feet MSL on final approach to Runway 8L/26R will exit Class B airspace northeast or northwest of Atlanta (depending on the landing direction) when between 25 and 20 NM from the airport. This occurs because the floor of the existing Class B airspace is 6,000 feet MSL between 25 and 20 NM. At the 20 NM point, the Class B airspace floor drops to 3,500 feet MSL so arriving aircraft reenter Class B airspace at that point. With the current Class B airspace configuration, approximately 300–400 aircraft per day would leave and reenter Class B airspace when STILS operations are conducted during less than visual conditions. It is important to note that this situation exists primarily when simultaneous triple ILS approaches are conducted during peak arrival periods in less than visual weather conditions. Atlanta arrivals typically do not exit Class B airspace when visual approaches are being conducted to Runway 8L/26R. When visual PO 00000 Frm 00008 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 approaches are in use during triple arrival operations, the Atlanta arrival rate is 134 aircraft per hour. The air traffic controller’s options to resolve the above situation and retain all aircraft within Class B airspace are limited. Required procedures for vectoring aircraft to the final approach course and maintaining standard separation, along with the present Class B airspace design, all combine to present a very limited window of airspace for controllers to use when vectoring aircraft to intercept the ILS localizer course for Runway 8L/26R. Under these conditions, the arrival flow rate must be reduced to allow the controller to vector aircraft to this small turn-on area, maintain required separation from other arriving aircraft, and keep the aircraft within Class B airspace. For that reason, on August 30, 2006, the FAA elected to significantly reduce arrival rates when STILS operations are in use at Atlanta, during IFR conditions, to avoid having arrivals exit and reenter Class B airspace. The FAA took this step pending rulemaking action to modify the floor of the Atlanta Class B airspace area. It is acknowledged that this reduction in the arrival rate will require an expanded use of traffic management initiatives during the conditions discussed above. The reduction of Atlanta’s arrival rate during STILS approaches has a significant impact on operations at Atlanta and on the National Airspace System (NAS). As discussed earlier, actual experience with the STILS operation demonstrated that it is not possible to contain all arrivals in the Atlanta Class B airspace and maintain the most efficient arrival rate. If the changes in this rule are not implemented, Atlanta will be unable to fully utilize STILS procedures during those traffic and weather conditions when it is most needed. In order to ensure Class B airspace containment, the arrival rate must be reduced by at least 20–25% during STILS operations. This drops the airport’s arrival rate from 116 aircraft per hour, to a maximum of 96 per hour. When demand exceeds capacity, traffic management initiatives, such as extended miles-in-trail restrictions and ground stops or ground delay programs, must be used to reduce the ATL arrival flow. Normally, nine periods daily exceed the 96 aircraft per hour rate. Flights that can’t be accommodated in the hour they are scheduled to arrive would roll over into subsequent hours creating additional delays throughout the day. These delays can easily number in the hundreds per day. The impact of delays at Atlanta quickly ripples throughout the entire E:\FR\FM\13OCR1.SGM 13OCR1 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 198 / Friday, October 13, 2006 / Rules and Regulations erjones on PROD1PC72 with RULES NAS and affects traffic at airports nationwide. The impact on NAS efficiency, aircraft operators, and passengers is significant. For example, carriers that utilize the hub concept not only experience delays for Atlanta arrivals and departures, but also encounter disruption of schedule integrity for their entire national operations. Since ground stop or ground delay programs and other traffic management initiatives can lead to missed connections and expiration of crew duty times, operators often must cancel some flights to maintain overall schedule integrity. Ground and in-flight delays also impact operations through increased fuel consumption and the added expense of providing overnight accommodations for affected passengers. The flying public is adversely affected by the inability to get to their destinations on time resulting in missed connections, missed appointments, and added expenses. To correct the situation where arriving aircraft exit and reenter Class B airspace, and to maximize runway capacity, this rule lowers the existing floor of the Atlanta Class B airspace area from 6,000 feet MSL to 5,000 feet MSL within two small areas as described below. Lowering the Class B airspace floor to 5,000 feet MSL in these areas will provide controllers with a larger window to accomplish the turn-on phase and minimize the need to reduce the arrival rate during certain STILS operations. Impact of the Class B Modification on Other Airspace Users The FAA believes that lowering the floor of Class B airspace to 5,000 feet MSL, as described in this rule, will not adversely affect other airspace users in the Atlanta area. Presently, the airspace between 5,000 feet and 6,000 feet MSL, within the two sections concerned, includes east/west transitions for aircraft primarily departing and landing at DeKalb-Peachtree Airport, Fulton County Airport, Cobb County Airport, and Dobbins Air Reserve Base. The two airspace segments are not useful as north/south transition areas due to the adjacent Class B airspace to the south where the Class B floor is already at 4,000 feet MSL. No aerobatic practice areas or parachute drop areas are affected by the change. Very few visual flight rules (VFR) aircraft presently conduct operations between 5,000 and 5,900 feet MSL in these areas due to the high volume of Atlanta arrival traffic that uses the airspace. A recently conducted 42-day random sampling (using the Performance Data Analysis and Reporting System) found that an VerDate Aug<31>2005 13:09 Oct 13, 2006 Jkt 211001 average of 1.21 aircraft per day transitioned through the described area. In addition, the current Atlanta VFR Flyway Planning Chart provides multiple suggested routes and altitudes to help VFR pilots avoid major traffic flows and to avoid flight within Class B airspace (if desired) while transiting the Atlanta area. The changes in this rule will not impact the existing charted VFR flyways. Two of these flyways pass beneath the airspace in question, with the suggested altitudes of ‘‘below 4,000’’ on the west side, and ‘‘below 3,500 feet’’ on the east side. The current flyways still allow transiting VFR aircraft to remain well clear of the new 5,000 foot MSL Class B airspace floor. Outreach Efforts The issue of aircraft exiting Class B airspace was discussed at the April 24, 2006 Precision Runway Monitor Site Implementation Team meeting. This group consists of representatives from FAA, the three major users at HartsfieldJackson Atlanta International Airport, the Airline Pilots Association, and the Atlanta Department of Aviation. Additionally, this issue was briefed at the May 11, 2006 Capacity Enhancement Work Group meeting. This group consists of representatives from FAA, all Atlanta air carriers, the National Business Aviation Association, and the Atlanta Department of Aviation. The FAA also issued a Letter to Airmen discussing this issue on May 15, 2006. In conjunction with this rule, the FAA will reprint the Atlanta Sectional Aeronautical Chart and the Atlanta VFR Terminal Area Chart to reflect the modifications. The FAA will also issue an additional letter to airmen describing the Class B airspace change. The FAA considers this final rule to be a critical action necessary to enhance the safety and efficiency of the National Airspace System. Although the FAA is taking this action by immediate adoption of the final rule, the agency intends to initiate a thorough review, in 2007, of the Atlanta Class B airspace area design. This effort will include public participation through the ad hoc user committee, informal airspace meeting, and notice of proposed rulemaking procedures. The Rule This action amends Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 71 by modifying the Atlanta Class B airspace area to lower the floor of Class B airspace from 6,000 feet MSL to 5,000 feet MSL within two small areas as described below. Specifically, this action (depicted on the attached chart) modifies the description of Area F to PO 00000 Frm 00009 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 60421 add the two new sections wherein Class B airspace extends upward from 5,000 feet MSL. These sections are: to the east of the airport, that airspace within an area bounded on the west by the 20 NM arc of the Atlanta Very High Frequency Omnidirectional Range/Tactical Air Navigation (VORTAC), on the east by the 25 NM arc of the Atlanta VORTAC, on the south by the Atlanta VORTAC 090° radial, and on the north by a line 8 NM north of and parallel to the Runway 8L/26R localizer course; and to the west of the airport, that airspace within an area bounded on the east by the 20 NM arc of the Atlanta VORTAC, on the west by the 25 NM arc of the Atlanta VORTAC, on the south by the Atlanta VORTAC 270° radial, and on the north by a line 8 NM north of and parallel to the Runway 8L/26R localizer course. The description of Area G is amended to reflect the above change by adjusting the boundaries wherein Class B airspace extends upward from 6,000 feet MSL. In addition, this rule makes two editorial changes to the Atlanta Class B airspace legal description to update the airport name and the coordinates of the airport reference point as listed in 14 CFR part 71. The airport name is changed from ‘‘The William B. Hartsfield Atlanta International Airport,’’ to ‘‘Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport,’’ in order to reflect the current airport name. A minor change is made to the ARP coordinates to reflect the latest survey information. The ARP coordinates are changed from ‘‘lat. 33°38′25″ N., long. 84°25′37″ W.,’’ to ‘‘lat. 38°38′12″ N., long. 84°26′41″ W.’’ These editorial changes do not affect the charting or the operation of the Class B airspace area. Except for the changes described above, the descriptions of all other areas in the Atlanta Class B airspace area remain as currently published. The coordinates for this airspace docket are based on North American Datum 83. Class B airspace areas are published in paragraph 3000 of FAA Order 7400.9P dated September 1, 2006, and effective September 15, 2006, which is incorporated by reference in 14 CFR section 71.1. The Class B airspace area listed in this document will be published subsequently in the Order. The FAA has determined that this regulation only involves an established body of technical regulations for which frequent and routine amendments are necessary to keep them operationally current. Therefore, this regulation: (1) Is not a ‘‘significant regulatory action’’ under Executive Order 12866; (2) is not a ‘‘significant rule’’ under Department of Transportation (DOT) Regulatory E:\FR\FM\13OCR1.SGM 13OCR1 60422 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 198 / Friday, October 13, 2006 / Rules and Regulations Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034; February 26, 1979); and (3) does not warrant preparation of a regulatory evaluation as the anticipated impact is so minimal. Since this is a routine matter that will only affect air traffic procedures and air navigation, it is certified that this rule, when promulgated, will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria of the Regulatory Flexibility Act. Good Cause for Immediate Adoption Section 553(b)(3)(B) of the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C.) authorizes agencies to dispense with notice and comment procedures when the agency for ‘‘good cause’’ finds that those procedures are ‘‘impractical, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.’’ Under this section, an agency, upon finding good cause, may issue a final rule without seeking comment prior to the rulemaking. Based on the information presented above, the FAA has determined that prompt remedial action is necessary to enhance safety and avoid significant adverse impact on the operation of the NAS. Without immediate action, the traveling public will continue to experience substantially more flight delays. Therefore, the FAA finds that it is impractical and contrary to the public interest to delay action in order to follow the normal notice and comment procedures. erjones on PROD1PC72 with RULES Good Cause for Early Effective Date Under 5 U.S.C. 553(d), publication of a substantive rule shall be made not less than 30 days before its effective date, except as otherwise provided by the agency for good cause found and published with the rule. The FAA is issuing this rule with an effective date of October 26, 2006, which is less than 30 days after publication. The FAA VerDate Aug<31>2005 13:09 Oct 13, 2006 Jkt 211001 finds good cause because this rule will enhance safety and end significant adverse impact on the operation of the NAS. As noted before, the FAA is taking additional steps to advise the public of this action, including reprinting the affected aeronautical charts and sending a letter to airmen in the Atlanta area regarding the airspace change. Boundaries. * * * * * Paragraph 3000 Class B Airspace. Area F. That airspace extending upward from 5,000 feet MSL to and including 12,500 feet MSL, bounded on the east and west by a 25-mile radius of the Atlanta VORTAC, clockwise between a line 12 miles south of and parallel to the Runway 09R/27L localizer courses and the Atlanta VORTAC 138° radial; and clockwise between the Atlanta VORTAC 218° radial and a line 12 miles south of and parallel to the Runway 09R/27L localizer courses; and that airspace west of the airport between the 20-mile radius of the Atlanta VORTAC and the 25-mile radius of the Atlanta VORTAC, from the Atlanta VORTAC 270° radial north to a line 8 miles north of and parallel to the Runway 8L/26R localizer course; and that airspace east of the airport between the 20-mile radius of the Atlanta VORTAC and the 25-mile radius of the Atlanta VORTAC from the Atlanta VORTAC 090° radial north to a line 8 miles north of and parallel to the Runway 8L/26R localizer course; excluding that airspace contained in Areas A, C, D, and E. Area G. That airspace extending upward from 6,000 feet MSL to and including 12,500 feet MSL within a 25-mile radius of the Atlanta VORTAC north of a line 8 miles north of and parallel to the Runway 8L/26R localizer course; and south of Atlanta VORTAC in an area bounded on the north by a line 8 miles south of and parallel to the Runway 09R/27L localizer courses, on the east by the Atlanta VORTAC 138° radial, on the south by a line 12 miles south of and parallel to the Runway 09R/27L localizer courses, and on the west by the Atlanta VORTAC 218° radial; excluding that airspace clockwise between the Atlanta VORTAC 323° and 031° radials north of a line 12 miles north of and parallel to the Runway 08L/26R localizer courses, and that airspace contained in Areas A, B, C, and D. * * * List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71 Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air). Adoption of the Amendment In consideration of the foregoing, the Federal Aviation Administration amends 14 CFR part 71 as follows: ■ PART 71—DESIGNATION OF CLASS A, B, C, D, AND CLASS E AIRSPACE AREAS; AIR TRAFFIC SERVICE ROUTES; AND REPORTING POINTS 1. The authority citation for part 71 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40103, 40113, 40120; E.O. 10854, 24 FR 9565, 3 CFR, 1959– 1963 Comp., p. 389. § 71.1 [Amended] 2. The incorporation by reference in 14 CFR 71.1 of the FAA Order 7400.9P, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated September 1, 2006, and effective September 15, 2006, is amended as follows: ■ By removing the current airport name and reference point, and Area F and Area G descriptions, and substituting the following: ■ * * * * * * * ASO GA B Atlanta, GA [Amended] Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (Primary Airport) (Lat. 33°38′12″ N., long. 84°25′41″ W.) Issued in Washington, DC, on October 10, 2006. Edith V. Parish, Manager, Airspace and Rules. * BILLING CODE 4910–13–P PO 00000 * * Frm 00010 * Fmt 4700 * Sfmt 4700 E:\FR\FM\13OCR1.SGM 13OCR1 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 198 / Friday, October 13, 2006 / Rules and Regulations 60423 [FR Doc. 06–8688 Filed 10–12–06; 8:45 am] VerDate Aug<31>2005 13:09 Oct 13, 2006 Jkt 211001 PO 00000 Frm 00011 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 E:\FR\FM\13OCR1.SGM 13OCR1 ER12OC06.016</GPH> erjones on PROD1PC72 with RULES BILLING CODE 4910–13–C

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 71, Number 198 (Friday, October 13, 2006)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 60419-60423]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 06-8688]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 71

[Docket No. FAA-2006-25831; Airspace Docket No. 06-AWA-1]
RIN 2120-AA66


Modification of the Class B Airspace Area; Atlanta, GA

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Final rule; request for comments.

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SUMMARY: This action makes minor modifications to the floor of the 
Atlanta, GA, Class B airspace area in order to contain large, turbine-
powered aircraft within Class B airspace during simultaneous triple 
instrument landing system (STILS) operations at the Hartsfield-Jackson 
Atlanta International Airport (ATL). In addition, this action makes two 
editorial changes to the Atlanta Class B airspace legal description. 
The FAA is taking this action to enhance safety and to prevent 
significant air traffic delays in the National Airspace System (NAS).

DATES: Effective 0901 UTC, October 26, 2006. Comments must be received 
on or before November 27, 2006. The Director of the Federal Register 
approves this incorporation by reference action under 1 CFR part 51, 
subject to the annual revision of FAA Order 7400.9 and publication of 
conforming amendments.

ADDRESSES: Address your comments in triplicate to the Docket Management 
System, U.S. Department of Transportation, Room Plaza 401, 400 Seventh 
Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590-0001. You must identify FAA Docket 
No. FAA-2006-25831 and Airspace Docket No. 06-AWA-1, at the beginning 
of your comments. You may also submit comments through the Internet at 
http://dms.dot.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Paul Gallant, Airspace and Rules, 
Office of System Operations Airspace and AIM, Federal Aviation 
Administration, 800 Independence Avenue, SW.,

[[Page 60420]]

Washington, DC 20591; telephone: (202) 267-8783.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Comments Invited

    The FAA is adopting this final rule without prior notice and 
comment. The Regulatory Policies and Procedures of the Department of 
Transportation (DOT) (44 FR 1134; February 26, 1979) provide that to 
the maximum extent possible, operating administrations for the DOT 
should provide an opportunity for public comment on regulations issued 
without prior notice. Accordingly, we invite interested persons to 
participate in this rulemaking by submitting such written date, views, 
or arguments, as they may desire.
    Communications should identify both docket numbers (FAA Docket No. 
FAA-2006-25831 and Airspace Docket No. 06-AWA-1) and be submitted in 
triplicate to the Docket Management System (see ADDRESSES section for 
address and phone number). You may also submit comments through the 
Internet at http://dms.dot.gov.
    Commenters wishing the FAA to acknowledge receipt of their comments 
on this action must submit with those comments a self-addressed, 
stamped postcard on which the following statement is made: ``Comments 
to FAA Docket No. FAA-2006-25831 and Airspace Docket No. 06-AWA-1.'' 
The postcard will be date/time stamped and returned to the commenter.

Availability of Final Rule

    An electronic copy of this document may be downloaded through the 
Internet at http://dms.dot.gov. Recently published rulemaking documents 
can also be accessed through the FAA's Web page at http://www.faa.gov 
or the Federal Register's Web page at http://www.gpoaccess.gov/fr/
index.html. You may review the public docket containing the final rule 
and any comments received in person in the Dockets Office (see 
ADDRESSES section for address and phone number) between 9 a.m. and 5 
p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

Background

    On May 27, 2006, a new runway (10/28) was commissioned at ATL. The 
new runway allowed the introduction of simultaneous triple arrival 
operations at Atlanta which led to a significant decrease in arrival 
delays at the airport. For example, arrival delays in June 2006 were 
1,349 compared to 5,401 in June 2005 (Note: triple arrivals did not 
actually begin at Atlanta until June 8, 2006). In July 2006, arrival 
delays were 257 as opposed to 8,059 delays in July 2005. August 2006 
recorded 323 delays versus 7,352 in August 2005. Additionally, since 
the start of triple arrival procedures, ground delay programs for 
aircraft destined to Atlanta decreased (from 42 in July/August 2005 to 
zero in July/August 2006), miles-in-trail restrictions were reduced for 
adjacent air route traffic control centers, and on-time performance for 
Atlanta's customers saw significant improvement.
    Initial modeling of the new procedures, conducted several years 
ago, indicated that STILS approaches could be accomplished within the 
confines of the current Class B airspace configuration. Further 
modeling, conducted in the fall of 2005, indicated that the volume of 
arrivals to the north runway (8L/26R) would have to be managed, but 
aircraft could still be contained within the confines of Class B 
airspace. However, after the actual implementation of STILS approaches 
in June 2006, it was found that when STILS approaches were conducted 
during those periods when both peak traffic volume and instrument 
flight rules (IFR) weather conditions existed, aircraft on approach to 
Runway 8L/26R would exit and reenter Class B airspace when between 25 
and 20 nautical miles (NM) from the airport. Experience showed that, 
when STILS was in progress in IFR conditions and the traffic volume was 
running at the airport's maximum efficiency arrival rate, airspace 
constraints made it necessary for air traffic control to place the 
Runway 8L/26R arrivals at 5,000 feet MSL in order to provide proper 
separation from aircraft on approach to the center runway. An aircraft 
at 5,000 feet MSL on final approach to Runway 8L/26R will exit Class B 
airspace northeast or northwest of Atlanta (depending on the landing 
direction) when between 25 and 20 NM from the airport. This occurs 
because the floor of the existing Class B airspace is 6,000 feet MSL 
between 25 and 20 NM. At the 20 NM point, the Class B airspace floor 
drops to 3,500 feet MSL so arriving aircraft reenter Class B airspace 
at that point. With the current Class B airspace configuration, 
approximately 300-400 aircraft per day would leave and reenter Class B 
airspace when STILS operations are conducted during less than visual 
conditions.
    It is important to note that this situation exists primarily when 
simultaneous triple ILS approaches are conducted during peak arrival 
periods in less than visual weather conditions. Atlanta arrivals 
typically do not exit Class B airspace when visual approaches are being 
conducted to Runway 8L/26R. When visual approaches are in use during 
triple arrival operations, the Atlanta arrival rate is 134 aircraft per 
hour.
    The air traffic controller's options to resolve the above situation 
and retain all aircraft within Class B airspace are limited. Required 
procedures for vectoring aircraft to the final approach course and 
maintaining standard separation, along with the present Class B 
airspace design, all combine to present a very limited window of 
airspace for controllers to use when vectoring aircraft to intercept 
the ILS localizer course for Runway 8L/26R. Under these conditions, the 
arrival flow rate must be reduced to allow the controller to vector 
aircraft to this small turn-on area, maintain required separation from 
other arriving aircraft, and keep the aircraft within Class B airspace. 
For that reason, on August 30, 2006, the FAA elected to significantly 
reduce arrival rates when STILS operations are in use at Atlanta, 
during IFR conditions, to avoid having arrivals exit and reenter Class 
B airspace. The FAA took this step pending rulemaking action to modify 
the floor of the Atlanta Class B airspace area. It is acknowledged that 
this reduction in the arrival rate will require an expanded use of 
traffic management initiatives during the conditions discussed above.
    The reduction of Atlanta's arrival rate during STILS approaches has 
a significant impact on operations at Atlanta and on the National 
Airspace System (NAS). As discussed earlier, actual experience with the 
STILS operation demonstrated that it is not possible to contain all 
arrivals in the Atlanta Class B airspace and maintain the most 
efficient arrival rate. If the changes in this rule are not 
implemented, Atlanta will be unable to fully utilize STILS procedures 
during those traffic and weather conditions when it is most needed. In 
order to ensure Class B airspace containment, the arrival rate must be 
reduced by at least 20-25% during STILS operations. This drops the 
airport's arrival rate from 116 aircraft per hour, to a maximum of 96 
per hour. When demand exceeds capacity, traffic management initiatives, 
such as extended miles-in-trail restrictions and ground stops or ground 
delay programs, must be used to reduce the ATL arrival flow. Normally, 
nine periods daily exceed the 96 aircraft per hour rate. Flights that 
can't be accommodated in the hour they are scheduled to arrive would 
roll over into subsequent hours creating additional delays throughout 
the day. These delays can easily number in the hundreds per day. The 
impact of delays at Atlanta quickly ripples throughout the entire

[[Page 60421]]

NAS and affects traffic at airports nationwide. The impact on NAS 
efficiency, aircraft operators, and passengers is significant. For 
example, carriers that utilize the hub concept not only experience 
delays for Atlanta arrivals and departures, but also encounter 
disruption of schedule integrity for their entire national operations. 
Since ground stop or ground delay programs and other traffic management 
initiatives can lead to missed connections and expiration of crew duty 
times, operators often must cancel some flights to maintain overall 
schedule integrity. Ground and in-flight delays also impact operations 
through increased fuel consumption and the added expense of providing 
overnight accommodations for affected passengers. The flying public is 
adversely affected by the inability to get to their destinations on 
time resulting in missed connections, missed appointments, and added 
expenses.
    To correct the situation where arriving aircraft exit and reenter 
Class B airspace, and to maximize runway capacity, this rule lowers the 
existing floor of the Atlanta Class B airspace area from 6,000 feet MSL 
to 5,000 feet MSL within two small areas as described below. Lowering 
the Class B airspace floor to 5,000 feet MSL in these areas will 
provide controllers with a larger window to accomplish the turn-on 
phase and minimize the need to reduce the arrival rate during certain 
STILS operations.

Impact of the Class B Modification on Other Airspace Users

    The FAA believes that lowering the floor of Class B airspace to 
5,000 feet MSL, as described in this rule, will not adversely affect 
other airspace users in the Atlanta area. Presently, the airspace 
between 5,000 feet and 6,000 feet MSL, within the two sections 
concerned, includes east/west transitions for aircraft primarily 
departing and landing at DeKalb-Peachtree Airport, Fulton County 
Airport, Cobb County Airport, and Dobbins Air Reserve Base. The two 
airspace segments are not useful as north/south transition areas due to 
the adjacent Class B airspace to the south where the Class B floor is 
already at 4,000 feet MSL. No aerobatic practice areas or parachute 
drop areas are affected by the change. Very few visual flight rules 
(VFR) aircraft presently conduct operations between 5,000 and 5,900 
feet MSL in these areas due to the high volume of Atlanta arrival 
traffic that uses the airspace. A recently conducted 42-day random 
sampling (using the Performance Data Analysis and Reporting System) 
found that an average of 1.21 aircraft per day transitioned through the 
described area. In addition, the current Atlanta VFR Flyway Planning 
Chart provides multiple suggested routes and altitudes to help VFR 
pilots avoid major traffic flows and to avoid flight within Class B 
airspace (if desired) while transiting the Atlanta area. The changes in 
this rule will not impact the existing charted VFR flyways. Two of 
these flyways pass beneath the airspace in question, with the suggested 
altitudes of ``below 4,000'' on the west side, and ``below 3,500 feet'' 
on the east side. The current flyways still allow transiting VFR 
aircraft to remain well clear of the new 5,000 foot MSL Class B 
airspace floor.

Outreach Efforts

    The issue of aircraft exiting Class B airspace was discussed at the 
April 24, 2006 Precision Runway Monitor Site Implementation Team 
meeting. This group consists of representatives from FAA, the three 
major users at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the 
Airline Pilots Association, and the Atlanta Department of Aviation. 
Additionally, this issue was briefed at the May 11, 2006 Capacity 
Enhancement Work Group meeting. This group consists of representatives 
from FAA, all Atlanta air carriers, the National Business Aviation 
Association, and the Atlanta Department of Aviation. The FAA also 
issued a Letter to Airmen discussing this issue on May 15, 2006.
    In conjunction with this rule, the FAA will reprint the Atlanta 
Sectional Aeronautical Chart and the Atlanta VFR Terminal Area Chart to 
reflect the modifications. The FAA will also issue an additional letter 
to airmen describing the Class B airspace change.
    The FAA considers this final rule to be a critical action necessary 
to enhance the safety and efficiency of the National Airspace System. 
Although the FAA is taking this action by immediate adoption of the 
final rule, the agency intends to initiate a thorough review, in 2007, 
of the Atlanta Class B airspace area design. This effort will include 
public participation through the ad hoc user committee, informal 
airspace meeting, and notice of proposed rulemaking procedures.

The Rule

    This action amends Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) 
part 71 by modifying the Atlanta Class B airspace area to lower the 
floor of Class B airspace from 6,000 feet MSL to 5,000 feet MSL within 
two small areas as described below. Specifically, this action (depicted 
on the attached chart) modifies the description of Area F to add the 
two new sections wherein Class B airspace extends upward from 5,000 
feet MSL. These sections are: to the east of the airport, that airspace 
within an area bounded on the west by the 20 NM arc of the Atlanta Very 
High Frequency Omnidirectional Range/Tactical Air Navigation (VORTAC), 
on the east by the 25 NM arc of the Atlanta VORTAC, on the south by the 
Atlanta VORTAC 090[deg] radial, and on the north by a line 8 NM north 
of and parallel to the Runway 8L/26R localizer course; and to the west 
of the airport, that airspace within an area bounded on the east by the 
20 NM arc of the Atlanta VORTAC, on the west by the 25 NM arc of the 
Atlanta VORTAC, on the south by the Atlanta VORTAC 270[deg] radial, and 
on the north by a line 8 NM north of and parallel to the Runway 8L/26R 
localizer course. The description of Area G is amended to reflect the 
above change by adjusting the boundaries wherein Class B airspace 
extends upward from 6,000 feet MSL.
    In addition, this rule makes two editorial changes to the Atlanta 
Class B airspace legal description to update the airport name and the 
coordinates of the airport reference point as listed in 14 CFR part 71. 
The airport name is changed from ``The William B. Hartsfield Atlanta 
International Airport,'' to ``Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International 
Airport,'' in order to reflect the current airport name. A minor change 
is made to the ARP coordinates to reflect the latest survey 
information. The ARP coordinates are changed from ``lat. 33[deg]38'25'' 
N., long. 84[deg]25'37'' W.,'' to ``lat. 38[deg]38'12'' N., long. 
84[deg]26'41'' W.'' These editorial changes do not affect the charting 
or the operation of the Class B airspace area.
    Except for the changes described above, the descriptions of all 
other areas in the Atlanta Class B airspace area remain as currently 
published.
    The coordinates for this airspace docket are based on North 
American Datum 83. Class B airspace areas are published in paragraph 
3000 of FAA Order 7400.9P dated September 1, 2006, and effective 
September 15, 2006, which is incorporated by reference in 14 CFR 
section 71.1. The Class B airspace area listed in this document will be 
published subsequently in the Order.
    The FAA has determined that this regulation only involves an 
established body of technical regulations for which frequent and 
routine amendments are necessary to keep them operationally current. 
Therefore, this regulation: (1) Is not a ``significant regulatory 
action'' under Executive Order 12866; (2) is not a ``significant rule'' 
under Department of Transportation (DOT) Regulatory

[[Page 60422]]

Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034; February 26, 1979); and (3) does 
not warrant preparation of a regulatory evaluation as the anticipated 
impact is so minimal. Since this is a routine matter that will only 
affect air traffic procedures and air navigation, it is certified that 
this rule, when promulgated, will not have a significant economic 
impact on a substantial number of small entities under the criteria of 
the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

Good Cause for Immediate Adoption

    Section 553(b)(3)(B) of the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C.) 
authorizes agencies to dispense with notice and comment procedures when 
the agency for ``good cause'' finds that those procedures are 
``impractical, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.'' Under 
this section, an agency, upon finding good cause, may issue a final 
rule without seeking comment prior to the rulemaking. Based on the 
information presented above, the FAA has determined that prompt 
remedial action is necessary to enhance safety and avoid significant 
adverse impact on the operation of the NAS. Without immediate action, 
the traveling public will continue to experience substantially more 
flight delays. Therefore, the FAA finds that it is impractical and 
contrary to the public interest to delay action in order to follow the 
normal notice and comment procedures.

Good Cause for Early Effective Date

    Under 5 U.S.C. 553(d), publication of a substantive rule shall be 
made not less than 30 days before its effective date, except as 
otherwise provided by the agency for good cause found and published 
with the rule. The FAA is issuing this rule with an effective date of 
October 26, 2006, which is less than 30 days after publication. The FAA 
finds good cause because this rule will enhance safety and end 
significant adverse impact on the operation of the NAS. As noted 
before, the FAA is taking additional steps to advise the public of this 
action, including reprinting the affected aeronautical charts and 
sending a letter to airmen in the Atlanta area regarding the airspace 
change.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71

    Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air).

Adoption of the Amendment

0
In consideration of the foregoing, the Federal Aviation Administration 
amends 14 CFR part 71 as follows:

PART 71--DESIGNATION OF CLASS A, B, C, D, AND CLASS E AIRSPACE 
AREAS; AIR TRAFFIC SERVICE ROUTES; AND REPORTING POINTS

0
1. The authority citation for part 71 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40103, 40113, 40120; E.O. 10854, 24 
FR 9565, 3 CFR, 1959-1963 Comp., p. 389.

Sec.  71.1  [Amended]

0
2. The incorporation by reference in 14 CFR 71.1 of the FAA Order 
7400.9P, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated September 1, 
2006, and effective September 15, 2006, is amended as follows:
0
By removing the current airport name and reference point, and Area F 
and Area G descriptions, and substituting the following:

Paragraph 3000 Class B Airspace.

* * * * *

ASO GA B Atlanta, GA [Amended]

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (Primary Airport)
    (Lat. 33[deg]38'12'' N., long. 84[deg]25'41'' W.)
* * * * *
    Boundaries.
* * * * *
    Area F. That airspace extending upward from 5,000 feet MSL to 
and including 12,500 feet MSL, bounded on the east and west by a 25-
mile radius of the Atlanta VORTAC, clockwise between a line 12 miles 
south of and parallel to the Runway 09R/27L localizer courses and 
the Atlanta VORTAC 138[deg] radial; and clockwise between the 
Atlanta VORTAC 218[deg] radial and a line 12 miles south of and 
parallel to the Runway 09R/27L localizer courses; and that airspace 
west of the airport between the 20-mile radius of the Atlanta VORTAC 
and the 25-mile radius of the Atlanta VORTAC, from the Atlanta 
VORTAC 270[deg] radial north to a line 8 miles north of and parallel 
to the Runway 8L/26R localizer course; and that airspace east of the 
airport between the 20-mile radius of the Atlanta VORTAC and the 25-
mile radius of the Atlanta VORTAC from the Atlanta VORTAC 090[deg] 
radial north to a line 8 miles north of and parallel to the Runway 
8L/26R localizer course; excluding that airspace contained in Areas 
A, C, D, and E.
    Area G. That airspace extending upward from 6,000 feet MSL to 
and including 12,500 feet MSL within a 25-mile radius of the Atlanta 
VORTAC north of a line 8 miles north of and parallel to the Runway 
8L/26R localizer course; and south of Atlanta VORTAC in an area 
bounded on the north by a line 8 miles south of and parallel to the 
Runway 09R/27L localizer courses, on the east by the Atlanta VORTAC 
138[deg] radial, on the south by a line 12 miles south of and 
parallel to the Runway 09R/27L localizer courses, and on the west by 
the Atlanta VORTAC 218[deg] radial; excluding that airspace 
clockwise between the Atlanta VORTAC 323[deg] and 031[deg] radials 
north of a line 12 miles north of and parallel to the Runway 08L/26R 
localizer courses, and that airspace contained in Areas A, B, C, and 
D.
* * * * *

    Issued in Washington, DC, on October 10, 2006.
Edith V. Parish,
Manager, Airspace and Rules.
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[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TR12OC06.016

[FR Doc. 06-8688 Filed 10-12-06; 8:45 am]
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