Amendment of Class D and Class E Airspace; Atwater, CA, 54234-54236 [2018-23476]

Download as PDF 54234 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 209 / Monday, October 29, 2018 / Rules and Regulations 45°21′12″ N, long. 122°58′41″ W; to lat. 45°19′20″ N, long. 122°49′07″ W. Issued in Seattle, Washington, on October 19, 2018. Shawn M. Kozica, Manager, Operations Support Group, Western Service Center. [FR Doc. 2018–23479 Filed 10–26–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 6030, or go to https://www.archives.gov/ federal-register/cfr/ibr-locations.html. FAA Order 7400.11, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, is published yearly and effective on September 15. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Richard Roberts, Federal Aviation Administration, Operations Support Group, Western Service Center, 2200 S 216th St, Des Moines, WA 98198–6547; telephone (206) 231–2245. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Authority for This Rulemaking 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA–2017–1091; Airspace Docket No. 17–AWP–26] RIN 2120–AA66 Amendment of Class D and Class E Airspace; Atwater, CA Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: This action modifies Class D airspace and Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Castle Airport, Atwater, CA. Additionally, the airport’s geographic coordinates have been updated to match the FAA’s aeronautical database and the outdated term Airport/Facility Directory is replaced with Chart Supplement in Class D airspace. Airspace redesign is necessary as the FAA transitions from ground-based to satellite-based navigation for the safety and management of instrument flight rules (IFR) operations at this airport due to the decommissioning of the El Nido VHF Omnidirectional Range/Distance Measuring Equipment (VOR/DME). DATES: Effective 0901 UTC, February 28, 2019. The Director of the Federal Register approves this incorporation by reference action under Title 1, Code of Federal Regulations, part 51, subject to the annual revision of FAA Order 7400.11 and publication of conforming amendments. ADDRESSES: FAA Order 7400.11, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, and subsequent amendments can be viewed on line at http:// www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publications/. For further information, you can contact the Airspace Policy Group, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC, 20591; telephone: 202–267–8783. The Order is also available for inspection at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this material at NARA, call 202–741– amozie on DSK3GDR082PROD with RULES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:53 Oct 26, 2018 Jkt 247001 The FAA’s authority to issue rules regarding aviation safety is found in Title 49 of the United States Code. Subtitle I, Section 106 describes the authority of the FAA Administrator. Subtitle VII, Aviation Programs, describes in more detail the scope of the agency’s authority. This rulemaking is promulgated under the authority described in Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart I, Section 40103. Under that section, the FAA is charged with prescribing regulations to assign the use of airspace necessary to ensure the safety of aircraft and the efficient use of airspace. This regulation is within the scope of that authority as it modifies Class D and Class E airspace at Castle Airport, Atwater, CA. History The FAA published a notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register (83 FR 3100; January 23, 2018) for Docket No. FAA–2017–1091 to amend Class D and Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface, at Castle Airport, Atwater, CA. Interested parties were invited to participate in this rulemaking effort by submitting written comments on the proposal to the FAA. Fifteen comments were received, of which twelve were from local political organizations, aviation companies, and the public. In addition, two were duplicates and one was an illustration of a recommended amendment to the rulemaking proposal. Four commenters stated the reasons for the airspace modifications were not clear. The FAA agrees and is including a clearer explanation in the final rule. The proposed modifications are required to bring the airspace into compliance with the common standards required by the FAA, in its orders, directives and guidance. The FAA initiated modifications to the Castle Airport airspace to ensure aircraft arriving Runway (RWY) 31 on the RNAV, VOR/DME, or ILS approaches descend through 1,000 feet above ground level (AGL) within the Class D PO 00000 Frm 00006 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 airspace; that IFR departures from Castle Airport and Merced Regional/Macready Field have adequate airspace to depart and that the minimum airspace needed for safe and efficient terminal IFR and visual flight rules (VFR) operations is maintained. Three commenters were concerned with the economic impact to local businesses in Merced and Atwater, CA. Based on those comments, the FAA considered the operational and economic advantages offered by both Castle Airport, Atwater CA. and Merced Regional/Macready Field, Merced CA., including the importance and interest to the commerce and welfare of the respective communities. The FAA made accommodations, as indicated below, in the design of the airspace. The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) in its comments stated that the Merced Regional/ Macready Field Class E2 airspace fulfilled the requirement to ensure the lateral boundary of the Castle Airport Class D area is congruent with the beginning of controlled airspace. The FAA agrees. However, the Merced Regional/Macready Field Class E2 airspace does not provide the airspace needed to protect aircraft on approach to Castle Airport as they descend through 1,000 feet AGL and meet FAA criteria for extensions of less than 2 miles. Thus, the Class D airspace southwest lateral boundary, within the Merced Regional/Macready Field Class E2 area, has been expanded to coincide with the rail line and protects Castle Airport IFR arrivals. AOPA further commented, ‘‘In determining the final configuration of the Castle Airport Class D airspace, it is important the safety and operational impacts it would have on Merced Regional/Macready Field be weighed as well.’’ The FAA agrees all users have the public right of freedom of transit through the NAS. Accordingly, while a sincere effort was made to negotiate equitable solutions regarding the use of the NAS, preservation and safety of aviation was the primary emphasis. We do not agree that defining the Class D lateral boundary from the 297° bearing to the 147° bearing meets the minimum FAA criteria and provides the necessary safety for arrivals and departures from Castle Airport. This configuration would not provide adequate airspace for Castle Airport departures using the Diverse Vector Area or RWY 31 Obstacle Departure Procedure, as it would not meet FAA criteria and provide 1.8 nm either side of the track to be flown. The FAA did agree that modifying the Class D southwest lateral boundary to E:\FR\FM\29OCR1.SGM 29OCR1 amozie on DSK3GDR082PROD with RULES Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 209 / Monday, October 29, 2018 / Rules and Regulations the rail line will facilitate arrivals to and departures from Merced Regional/ Macready Field without affecting Castle Airport departures and allow adequate airspace for the Castle Airport arrivals to RWY 31. AOPA also stated that the NPRM did not comply with FAA guidance in Order JO 7400.2, Procedures for Handling Airspace Matters, because a graphic was not included in the docket. Additionally, AOPA encouraged the FAA to follow its own guidance by making the action effective date concurrent with publication of the VFR Sectional. The FAA has determined AOPA’s comments raised no substantive issues related to the proposed changes to the airspace addressed in the NPRM. To the extent the FAA failed to follow its policies related to publishing graphics in the docket and establishing the Class D and E airspace effective date coincidental to the sectional chart date, we note the following. The FAA provided graphics for this proposal on February 15, 2018. AOPA’s comment concerning the FAA creating a graphical depiction of new or modified airspace overlaid on a Sectional Chart for quality assurance purposes is not correct and the requirement to include all information in the Docket does not extend to working files. During the airspace reviews, airspace graphics may be created, if deemed necessary, to determine if there are terrain issues, or if cases are considered complex; in many cases, a graphic is not needed when developing an airspace proposal. Additionally, AOPA encouraged the FAA to follow its own guidance by making the action effective date concurrent with publication of the VFR Sectional. With respect to AOPA’s comment addressing effective dates, FAA Order 7400.2L, paragraph 2–3– 7.a.4. states that, to the extent practicable, Class D airspace areas and restricted areas should become effective on a sectional chart date and that consideration should be given to selecting a sectional chart date that matches a 56-day enroute chart cycle date. The FAA does consider establishing effective dates for Class D and E airspace amendments so they coincide with the publication of sectional charts, to the extent practicable, but this consideration is accomplished after the NPRM comment period ends. Substantive comments received to NPRMs, flight safety concerns, management of IFR operations at affected airports, and immediacy of requiring proposed airspace amendments are some of the factors VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:53 Oct 26, 2018 Jkt 247001 taken into consideration when selecting the appropriate effective date. After considering all factors, the FAA may determine that selecting an effective date that conforms to a 56-day enroute chart cycle date not coincidental to sectional chart dates is better for the NAS and users rather than awaiting publication of the next VFR sectional. Two commenters requested the boundary for Castle Airport be rotated 10–15 degrees to facilitate straight out/ in departure and arrival IFR operations and maintain adequate left and right runway centerline at Merced Regional/ Macready Field. The FAA agreed and rotated that portion of the Castle Airport Class D airspace lateral boundary outside the Merced Regional/Macready Field Airport Class E2 area, 12 degrees counterclockwise from 139° True (T) to 127° (T) and that portion within 4 nm of the Merced Regional/Macready Field Airport ARP to 114° (T), coinciding with the rail line, as previously noted. In addition, two commenters requested that Highway 99 be used for the southwest lateral boundary to leave room for straight-out departures from RWY 30 at Merced. While the FAA agrees a modification to the southwest lateral boundary is appropriate, it has opted to use the rail line .2 nm west of highway 99, as requested in six other comments. This will allow aircraft departing from Castle Airport the airspace needed to operate efficiently and safely, and Merced Regional/ Macready Field departures adequate airspace to operate without having to contact the Castle Airport Traffic Control Tower adequate space for stabilized approaches, and the ability to conduct VFR practice instrument approaches without additional coordination and straight-out departures from RWY 30. Five commenters were concerned with the airspace directly over the city of Atwater, CA, describing it as congested and having reduced visibility due to hazy weather conditions much of the time. They were concerned with the infrastructure on the ground and identified controlled airspace as critical to the safety of its citizens. The FAA agrees with the concerns voiced by local governments, the area directly over the city of Atwater, CA, underlies controlled airspace beginning at 700 feet AGL. Fixed wing aircraft in this airspace must operate at or above 1000 feet above the highest obstacle, must have 3 miles of visibility, and operate 500 feet below and 1000 feet above clouds. In addition, Air Traffic Control can issue pilots in this area control instructions. However, because PO 00000 Frm 00007 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 54235 of the potential for Merced Regional/ Macready Field VFR arrivals and departures transiting this area without establishing communications and the potential for these aircraft mixing with Castle Airport IFR arrivals and departures, the use of the Castle Airport traffic pattern, and implementation of a DVA, the lateral boundary is established at 127° in the area outside the Merced Regional/Macready Field Class E2 area. Class D and Class E airspace designations are published in paragraphs 5000, 6002, 6004, and 6005, respectively, of FAA Order 7400.11C, dated August 13, 2018, and effective September 15, 2018, which is incorporated by reference in 14 CFR part 71.1. The Class D and Class E airspace designation listed in this document will be published subsequently in the Order. Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference This document amends FAA Order 7400.11C, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 13, 2018, and effective September 15, 2018. FAA Order 7400.11C is publicly available as listed in the ADDRESSES section of this document. FAA Order 7400.11C lists Class A, B, C, D, and E airspace areas, air traffic service routes, and reporting points. The Rule This amendment to Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 71 modifies Class D airspace and Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface, at Castle Airport, Atwater, CA. The airspace has been redesigned by modifying Class D airspace to within a 4.6-mile (from a 4.5-mile) radius of the airport from the airport 278° bearing clockwise to the airport 148° bearing. This modification provides additional Class D airspace south of the airport and removes Class D airspace southwest and northwest of the airport, thereby containing IFR arrival aircraft descending through 1,000 feet above the surface, and removing airspace not required for IFR operations. Also, this action removes the reference to the El Nido VOR/DME in the legal description due to its planned decommissioning as the FAA transitions from ground-based to satellite-based navigation. Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface is modified to within a 7.2-mile (from a 7mile) radius of the airport, and removes the 23-mile extension northwest of the airport. E:\FR\FM\29OCR1.SGM 29OCR1 54236 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 209 / Monday, October 29, 2018 / Rules and Regulations Additionally, the airport’s geographic coordinates are updated to match the FAA’s aeronautical database for the Class D and Class E airspace areas. An editorial change is also made to the Class E surface area airspace legal description replacing ‘‘Airport/Facility Directory’’ with ‘‘Chart Supplement’’. § 71.1 Regulatory Notices and Analyses Paragraph 5000 Class D Airspace. * * 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, is non-controversial and unlikely to result in adverse or negative comments. It, therefore: (1) Is not a ‘‘significant regulatory action’’ under Executive Order 12866; (2) is not a ‘‘significant rule’’ under DOT Regulatory 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 only affects 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. Environmental Review The FAA has determined that this action qualifies for categorical exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act in accordance with FAA Order 1050.1F, ‘‘Environmental Impacts: Policies and Procedures,’’ paragraph 5–6.5a. This airspace action is not expected to cause any potentially significant environmental impacts, and no extraordinary circumstances exist that warrant preparation of an environmental assessment. * * * AWP CA D Atwater, CA [Amended] Castle Airport, CA (Lat. 37°22′50″ N, long. 120°34′06″ W) That airspace extending upward from the surface up to but not including 2,000 feet MSL within a 4.6-mile radius of Castle Airport beginning at the 278° bearing from the airport clockwise to the 114° bearing, thence northwest to the point where the 182° bearing intersects the Merced Regional/ Macready Airport Class E2, thence to the point of beginning. This Class D airspace area is effective during the specific dates and times established in advance by a Notice to Airmen. The effective date and time will thereafter be continuously published in the Chart Supplement. Paragraph 6005 Class E Airspace Areas Extending Upward From 700 Feet or More Above the Surface of the Earth. * * * * * AWP CA E5 Atwater, CA [Amended] Castle Airport, CA (Lat. 37°22′50″ N, long. 120°34′06″ W) That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 7.2-mile radius of Castle Airport. Issued in Seattle, Washington, on October 19, 2018. Shawn M. Kozica, Manager, Operations Support Group, Western Service Center. [FR Doc. 2018–23476 Filed 10–26–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Lists of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71 Federal Aviation Administration Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air). 14 CFR Part 71 Adoption of the Amendment In consideration of the foregoing, the Federal Aviation Administration amends 14 CFR part 71 as follows: amozie on DSK3GDR082PROD with RULES [Amended] 2. The incorporation by reference in 14 CFR 71.1 of FAA Order 7400.11C, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 13, 2018, and effective September 15, 2018, is amended as follows: ■ PART 71—DESIGNATION OF CLASS A, B, C, D, AND E AIRSPACE AREAS; AIR TRAFFIC SERVICE ROUTES; AND REPORTING POINTS Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(f), 106(g); 40103, 40113, 40120; E.O. 10854, 24 FR 9565, 3 CFR, 1959–1963 Comp., p. 389. 16:53 Oct 26, 2018 Jkt 247001 RIN 2120–AA66 Amendment of Class E Airspace; Merced, CA Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: This action modifies Class E surface airspace and Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Merced Regional/ Macready Field, Merced, CA, to accommodate airspace redesign due to SUMMARY: 1. The authority citation for part 71 continues to read as follows: ■ VerDate Sep<11>2014 [Docket No. FAA–2017–1092; Airspace Docket No. 17–AWP–27] PO 00000 Frm 00008 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 the decommissioning of the El Nido VHF Omnidirectional Range/Distance Measuring Equipment (VOR/DME) as the FAA transitions from ground-based to satellite-based navigation. This action also removes Class E airspace extending upward from 1,200 feet above the surface; updates the airport name to match the FAA’s aeronautical database; and replaces the outdated term Airport/ Facility Directory with Chart Supplement. These actions are necessary for the safety and management of instrument flight rules (IFR) operations at this airport. DATES: Effective 0901 UTC, January 3, 2019. The Director of the Federal Register approves this incorporation by reference action under Title 1, Code of Federal Regulations, part 51, subject to the annual revision of FAA Order 7400.11 and publication of conforming amendments. ADDRESSES: FAA Order 7400.11C, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, and subsequent amendments can be viewed on line at http:// www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publications/. For further information, you can contact the Airspace Policy Group, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20591; telephone: 202–267–8783. The Order is also available for inspection at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this material at NARA, call 202–741–6030, or go to https://www.archives.gov/ federal-register/cfr/ibr-locations.html. FAA Order 7400.11, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, is published yearly and effective on September 15. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Richard Roberts, Federal Aviation Administration, Operations Support Group, Western Service Center, 2200 S 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198–6547; telephone (206) 231–2245. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Authority for This Rulemaking The FAA’s authority to issue rules regarding aviation safety is found in Title 49 of the United States Code. Subtitle I, Section 106 describes the authority of the FAA Administrator. Subtitle VII, Aviation Programs, describes in more detail the scope of the agency’s authority. This rulemaking is promulgated under the authority described in Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart I, Section 40103. Under that section, the FAA is charged with prescribing regulations to assign the use of airspace necessary to ensure the safety of aircraft and the efficient use of E:\FR\FM\29OCR1.SGM 29OCR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 209 (Monday, October 29, 2018)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 54234-54236]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-23476]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 71

[Docket No. FAA-2017-1091; Airspace Docket No. 17-AWP-26]
RIN 2120-AA66


Amendment of Class D and Class E Airspace; Atwater, CA

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: This action modifies Class D airspace and Class E airspace 
extending upward from 700 feet above the surface at Castle Airport, 
Atwater, CA. Additionally, the airport's geographic coordinates have 
been updated to match the FAA's aeronautical database and the outdated 
term Airport/Facility Directory is replaced with Chart Supplement in 
Class D airspace. Airspace redesign is necessary as the FAA transitions 
from ground-based to satellite-based navigation for the safety and 
management of instrument flight rules (IFR) operations at this airport 
due to the decommissioning of the El Nido VHF Omnidirectional Range/
Distance Measuring Equipment (VOR/DME).

DATES: Effective 0901 UTC, February 28, 2019. The Director of the 
Federal Register approves this incorporation by reference action under 
Title 1, Code of Federal Regulations, part 51, subject to the annual 
revision of FAA Order 7400.11 and publication of conforming amendments.

ADDRESSES: FAA Order 7400.11, Airspace Designations and Reporting 
Points, and subsequent amendments can be viewed on line at http://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publications/. For further information, you can 
contact the Airspace Policy Group, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 
Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC, 20591; telephone: 202-267-8783. 
The Order is also available for inspection at the National Archives and 
Records Administration (NARA).
    For information on the availability of this material at NARA, call 
202-741-6030, or go to https://www.archives.gov/federal-register/cfr/ibr-locations.html.
    FAA Order 7400.11, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, is 
published yearly and effective on September 15.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Richard Roberts, Federal Aviation 
Administration, Operations Support Group, Western Service Center, 2200 
S 216th St, Des Moines, WA 98198-6547; telephone (206) 231-2245.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Authority for This Rulemaking

    The FAA's authority to issue rules regarding aviation safety is 
found in Title 49 of the United States Code. Subtitle I, Section 106 
describes the authority of the FAA Administrator. Subtitle VII, 
Aviation Programs, describes in more detail the scope of the agency's 
authority. This rulemaking is promulgated under the authority described 
in Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart I, Section 40103. Under that section, 
the FAA is charged with prescribing regulations to assign the use of 
airspace necessary to ensure the safety of aircraft and the efficient 
use of airspace. This regulation is within the scope of that authority 
as it modifies Class D and Class E airspace at Castle Airport, Atwater, 
CA.

History

    The FAA published a notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal 
Register (83 FR 3100; January 23, 2018) for Docket No. FAA-2017-1091 to 
amend Class D and Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above 
the surface, at Castle Airport, Atwater, CA. Interested parties were 
invited to participate in this rulemaking effort by submitting written 
comments on the proposal to the FAA. Fifteen comments were received, of 
which twelve were from local political organizations, aviation 
companies, and the public. In addition, two were duplicates and one was 
an illustration of a recommended amendment to the rulemaking proposal.
    Four commenters stated the reasons for the airspace modifications 
were not clear. The FAA agrees and is including a clearer explanation 
in the final rule. The proposed modifications are required to bring the 
airspace into compliance with the common standards required by the FAA, 
in its orders, directives and guidance. The FAA initiated modifications 
to the Castle Airport airspace to ensure aircraft arriving Runway (RWY) 
31 on the RNAV, VOR/DME, or ILS approaches descend through 1,000 feet 
above ground level (AGL) within the Class D airspace; that IFR 
departures from Castle Airport and Merced Regional/Macready Field have 
adequate airspace to depart and that the minimum airspace needed for 
safe and efficient terminal IFR and visual flight rules (VFR) 
operations is maintained.
    Three commenters were concerned with the economic impact to local 
businesses in Merced and Atwater, CA. Based on those comments, the FAA 
considered the operational and economic advantages offered by both 
Castle Airport, Atwater CA. and Merced Regional/Macready Field, Merced 
CA., including the importance and interest to the commerce and welfare 
of the respective communities. The FAA made accommodations, as 
indicated below, in the design of the airspace.
    The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) in its comments 
stated that the Merced Regional/Macready Field Class E2 airspace 
fulfilled the requirement to ensure the lateral boundary of the Castle 
Airport Class D area is congruent with the beginning of controlled 
airspace. The FAA agrees. However, the Merced Regional/Macready Field 
Class E2 airspace does not provide the airspace needed to protect 
aircraft on approach to Castle Airport as they descend through 1,000 
feet AGL and meet FAA criteria for extensions of less than 2 miles. 
Thus, the Class D airspace southwest lateral boundary, within the 
Merced Regional/Macready Field Class E2 area, has been expanded to 
coincide with the rail line and protects Castle Airport IFR arrivals. 
AOPA further commented, ``In determining the final configuration of the 
Castle Airport Class D airspace, it is important the safety and 
operational impacts it would have on Merced Regional/Macready Field be 
weighed as well.'' The FAA agrees all users have the public right of 
freedom of transit through the NAS. Accordingly, while a sincere effort 
was made to negotiate equitable solutions regarding the use of the NAS, 
preservation and safety of aviation was the primary emphasis.
    We do not agree that defining the Class D lateral boundary from the 
297[deg] bearing to the 147[deg] bearing meets the minimum FAA criteria 
and provides the necessary safety for arrivals and departures from 
Castle Airport. This configuration would not provide adequate airspace 
for Castle Airport departures using the Diverse Vector Area or RWY 31 
Obstacle Departure Procedure, as it would not meet FAA criteria and 
provide 1.8 nm either side of the track to be flown.
    The FAA did agree that modifying the Class D southwest lateral 
boundary to

[[Page 54235]]

the rail line will facilitate arrivals to and departures from Merced 
Regional/Macready Field without affecting Castle Airport departures and 
allow adequate airspace for the Castle Airport arrivals to RWY 31.
    AOPA also stated that the NPRM did not comply with FAA guidance in 
Order JO 7400.2, Procedures for Handling Airspace Matters, because a 
graphic was not included in the docket. Additionally, AOPA encouraged 
the FAA to follow its own guidance by making the action effective date 
concurrent with publication of the VFR Sectional.
    The FAA has determined AOPA's comments raised no substantive issues 
related to the proposed changes to the airspace addressed in the NPRM. 
To the extent the FAA failed to follow its policies related to 
publishing graphics in the docket and establishing the Class D and E 
airspace effective date coincidental to the sectional chart date, we 
note the following. The FAA provided graphics for this proposal on 
February 15, 2018.
    AOPA's comment concerning the FAA creating a graphical depiction of 
new or modified airspace overlaid on a Sectional Chart for quality 
assurance purposes is not correct and the requirement to include all 
information in the Docket does not extend to working files. During the 
airspace reviews, airspace graphics may be created, if deemed 
necessary, to determine if there are terrain issues, or if cases are 
considered complex; in many cases, a graphic is not needed when 
developing an airspace proposal. Additionally, AOPA encouraged the FAA 
to follow its own guidance by making the action effective date 
concurrent with publication of the VFR Sectional. With respect to 
AOPA's comment addressing effective dates, FAA Order 7400.2L, paragraph 
2-3-7.a.4. states that, to the extent practicable, Class D airspace 
areas and restricted areas should become effective on a sectional chart 
date and that consideration should be given to selecting a sectional 
chart date that matches a 56-day enroute chart cycle date. The FAA does 
consider establishing effective dates for Class D and E airspace 
amendments so they coincide with the publication of sectional charts, 
to the extent practicable, but this consideration is accomplished after 
the NPRM comment period ends. Substantive comments received to NPRMs, 
flight safety concerns, management of IFR operations at affected 
airports, and immediacy of requiring proposed airspace amendments are 
some of the factors taken into consideration when selecting the 
appropriate effective date. After considering all factors, the FAA may 
determine that selecting an effective date that conforms to a 56-day 
enroute chart cycle date not coincidental to sectional chart dates is 
better for the NAS and users rather than awaiting publication of the 
next VFR sectional.
    Two commenters requested the boundary for Castle Airport be rotated 
10-15 degrees to facilitate straight out/in departure and arrival IFR 
operations and maintain adequate left and right runway centerline at 
Merced Regional/Macready Field.
    The FAA agreed and rotated that portion of the Castle Airport Class 
D airspace lateral boundary outside the Merced Regional/Macready Field 
Airport Class E2 area, 12 degrees counterclockwise from 139[deg] True 
(T) to 127[deg] (T) and that portion within 4 nm of the Merced 
Regional/Macready Field Airport ARP to 114[deg] (T), coinciding with 
the rail line, as previously noted. In addition, two commenters 
requested that Highway 99 be used for the southwest lateral boundary to 
leave room for straight-out departures from RWY 30 at Merced. While the 
FAA agrees a modification to the southwest lateral boundary is 
appropriate, it has opted to use the rail line .2 nm west of highway 
99, as requested in six other comments. This will allow aircraft 
departing from Castle Airport the airspace needed to operate 
efficiently and safely, and Merced Regional/Macready Field departures 
adequate airspace to operate without having to contact the Castle 
Airport Traffic Control Tower adequate space for stabilized approaches, 
and the ability to conduct VFR practice instrument approaches without 
additional coordination and straight-out departures from RWY 30.
    Five commenters were concerned with the airspace directly over the 
city of Atwater, CA, describing it as congested and having reduced 
visibility due to hazy weather conditions much of the time. They were 
concerned with the infrastructure on the ground and identified 
controlled airspace as critical to the safety of its citizens.
    The FAA agrees with the concerns voiced by local governments, the 
area directly over the city of Atwater, CA, underlies controlled 
airspace beginning at 700 feet AGL. Fixed wing aircraft in this 
airspace must operate at or above 1000 feet above the highest obstacle, 
must have 3 miles of visibility, and operate 500 feet below and 1000 
feet above clouds. In addition, Air Traffic Control can issue pilots in 
this area control instructions. However, because of the potential for 
Merced Regional/Macready Field VFR arrivals and departures transiting 
this area without establishing communications and the potential for 
these aircraft mixing with Castle Airport IFR arrivals and departures, 
the use of the Castle Airport traffic pattern, and implementation of a 
DVA, the lateral boundary is established at 127[deg] in the area 
outside the Merced Regional/Macready Field Class E2 area.
    Class D and Class E airspace designations are published in 
paragraphs 5000, 6002, 6004, and 6005, respectively, of FAA Order 
7400.11C, dated August 13, 2018, and effective September 15, 2018, 
which is incorporated by reference in 14 CFR part 71.1. The Class D and 
Class E airspace designation listed in this document will be published 
subsequently in the Order.

Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference

    This document amends FAA Order 7400.11C, Airspace Designations and 
Reporting Points, dated August 13, 2018, and effective September 15, 
2018. FAA Order 7400.11C is publicly available as listed in the 
ADDRESSES section of this document. FAA Order 7400.11C lists Class A, 
B, C, D, and E airspace areas, air traffic service routes, and 
reporting points.

The Rule

    This amendment to Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) 
part 71 modifies Class D airspace and Class E airspace extending upward 
from 700 feet above the surface, at Castle Airport, Atwater, CA.
    The airspace has been redesigned by modifying Class D airspace to 
within a 4.6-mile (from a 4.5-mile) radius of the airport from the 
airport 278[deg] bearing clockwise to the airport 148[deg] bearing. 
This modification provides additional Class D airspace south of the 
airport and removes Class D airspace southwest and northwest of the 
airport, thereby containing IFR arrival aircraft descending through 
1,000 feet above the surface, and removing airspace not required for 
IFR operations. Also, this action removes the reference to the El Nido 
VOR/DME in the legal description due to its planned decommissioning as 
the FAA transitions from ground-based to satellite-based navigation.
    Class E airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface 
is modified to within a 7.2-mile (from a 7-mile) radius of the airport, 
and removes the 23-mile extension northwest of the airport.

[[Page 54236]]

    Additionally, the airport's geographic coordinates are updated to 
match the FAA's aeronautical database for the Class D and Class E 
airspace areas. An editorial change is also made to the Class E surface 
area airspace legal description replacing ``Airport/Facility 
Directory'' with ``Chart Supplement''.

Regulatory Notices and Analyses

    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, is 
non-controversial and unlikely to result in adverse or negative 
comments. It, therefore: (1) Is not a ``significant regulatory action'' 
under Executive Order 12866; (2) is not a ``significant rule'' under 
DOT Regulatory 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 only affects 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.

Environmental Review

    The FAA has determined that this action qualifies for categorical 
exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act in accordance 
with FAA Order 1050.1F, ``Environmental Impacts: Policies and 
Procedures,'' paragraph 5-6.5a. This airspace action is not expected to 
cause any potentially significant environmental impacts, and no 
extraordinary circumstances exist that warrant preparation of an 
environmental assessment.

Lists 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 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(f), 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 FAA Order 7400.11C, 
Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 13, 2018, and 
effective September 15, 2018, is amended as follows:

Paragraph 5000 Class D Airspace.

* * * * *

AWP CA D Atwater, CA [Amended]

Castle Airport, CA
    (Lat. 37[deg]22'50'' N, long. 120[deg]34'06'' W)

    That airspace extending upward from the surface up to but not 
including 2,000 feet MSL within a 4.6-mile radius of Castle Airport 
beginning at the 278[deg] bearing from the airport clockwise to the 
114[deg] bearing, thence northwest to the point where the 182[deg] 
bearing intersects the Merced Regional/Macready Airport Class E2, 
thence to the point of beginning. This Class D airspace area is 
effective during the specific dates and times established in advance 
by a Notice to Airmen. The effective date and time will thereafter 
be continuously published in the Chart Supplement.

Paragraph 6005 Class E Airspace Areas Extending Upward From 700 
Feet or More Above the Surface of the Earth.

* * * * *

AWP CA E5 Atwater, CA [Amended]

Castle Airport, CA
    (Lat. 37[deg]22'50'' N, long. 120[deg]34'06'' W)

    That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface 
within a 7.2-mile radius of Castle Airport.

    Issued in Seattle, Washington, on October 19, 2018.
Shawn M. Kozica,
Manager, Operations Support Group, Western Service Center.
[FR Doc. 2018-23476 Filed 10-26-18; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-13-P