Proposed Amendment of R-2206 and Establishment of Restricted Areas R-2206B, R-2206C, R-2206D, R-2206E, R-2206F, and R-2206G; Clear, AK, 11194-11198 [2021-03849]

Download as PDF 11194 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 35 / Wednesday, February 24, 2021 / Proposed Rules DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 73 [Docket No. FAA–2020–0755; Airspace Docket No. 19–AAL–83] RIN 2120–AA66 Proposed Amendment of R–2206 and Establishment of Restricted Areas R– 2206B, R–2206C, R–2206D, R–2206E, R–2206F, and R–2206G; Clear, AK Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of Transportation (DOT). ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM). AGENCY: This action proposes to rename the established restricted areas R–2206 to R–2206A and establish six new restricted areas R–2206B, R–2206C, R–2206D, R–2206E, R–2206F, and R– 2206G, over the Clear Air Force Station (Clear AFS) at Clear, AK. The United States Air Force (USAF) on behalf of the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) requested this action to protect aircraft from hazardous High-Intensity Radiated Field (HIRF) produced by the Long Range Discrimination Radar (LRDR) at Clear AFS. LRDR contributes to the MDA’s mission of developing and deploying a layered Department of Defense (DoD) Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS) to defend the United States from ballistic missile attacks of all ranges in all phases of flight. The proposed restricted areas are necessary to protect aviation from the hazardous HIRF and segregate non-participating aircraft. SUMMARY: Comments must be received on or before April 26, 2021. ADDRESSES: Send comments on this proposal to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, Washington, DC 20590–0001; telephone: (800) 647–5527, or (202) 366–9826. You must identify FAA Docket Number FAA–2020–0755; Airspace Docket No. 19–AAL–83 at the beginning of your comments. You may also submit comments through the internet at https://www.regulations.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Christopher McMullin, Rules and Regulations Group, Office of Policy, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20591; telephone: (202) 267–8783. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with PROPOSALS DATES: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:41 Feb 23, 2021 Jkt 253001 Authority for This Rulemaking The FAA’s authority to issue rules regarding aviation safety is found in Title 49 of the United States Code (U.S.C.). 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 the 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 would establish restricted airspace at Clear, AK, to protect aviation from activities deemed hazardous to nonparticipating aircraft. Comments Invited Interested parties are invited to participate in this proposed rulemaking by submitting such written data, views, or arguments, as they may desire. Comments that provide the factual basis supporting the views and suggestions presented are particularly helpful in developing reasoned regulatory decisions on the proposal. Comments are specifically invited on the overall regulatory, aeronautical, economic, environmental, and energy-related aspects of the proposal. Communications should identify both docket numbers (FAA Docket Number FAA–2020–0755; Airspace Docket No. 19–AAL–83) and be submitted in triplicate to the Docket Management Facility (see ADDRESSES section for address and phone number). You may also submit comments through the internet at https://www.regulations.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 FAA–2020–0755; Airspace Docket No. 19–AAL–83.’’ The postcard will be date/time stamped and returned to the commenter. All communications received on or before the specified comment closing date will be considered before taking action on the proposed rule. The proposal contained in this action may be changed in light of comments received. All comments submitted will be available for examination in the public docket both before and after the comment closing date. A report summarizing each substantive public contact with FAA personnel concerned PO 00000 Frm 00039 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 with this rulemaking will be filed in the docket. Availability of NPRM An electronic copy of this document may be downloaded through the internet at https://www.regulations.gov. Recently published rulemaking documents can also be accessed through the FAA’s web page at https:// www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publications/ airspace_amendments/. You may review the public docket containing the proposal, any comments received and any final disposition in person in the Dockets Office (see ADDRESSES section for address and phone number) between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. An informal docket may also be examined during normal business hours at the office of the Western Service Center, Operations Support Group, Federal Aviation Administration, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198. Background History of R–2206 and Clear Airport, AK R–2206 was initially established as R– 20 for a limited duration effective January 1, 1961 (25 FR 12174), over the Clear AFS, at Clear, AK, to protect the National Airspace System (NAS) while a potential radiation hazard caused by the Ballistic Missile Early Warning System (BMEWS) was assessed by the USAF. The designation of R–2206 was later amended to extend the duration for an indefinite period in May 1962 (27 FR 4553) due to ongoing concern regarding the radiation hazard associated with BMEWS. Initially established for private use by the military in support of the BMEWS mission, Clear Airport (PACL) is located less than 1⁄2 Nautical Mile (NM) from the eastern boundary of R–2206. The airport was leased by the Secretary of the Air Force to the State of Alaska on December 20, 1974. The FAA performed an airspace review and issued a letter of ‘‘no objection’’ to convert the airport from private to public use on January 20, 1976.1 Subsequently, the land (1,814 acres) was declared surplus excess by the USAF and conveyed to the State of Alaska in the late 1980s. PACL has remained in its original location since being converted to public use. The FAA did not object to the proximity of R– 2206 to the airport when it was converted to a public use airport, because at the time of conversion, there was no established standard to separate restricted areas and public use airports. 1 A copy of this letter has been placed in the docket for this rulemaking. E:\FR\FM\24FEP1.SGM 24FEP1 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 35 / Wednesday, February 24, 2021 / Proposed Rules The minimum standard for exclusion of airspace 1,500 feet AGL and below within a 3 NM radius of airports available for public use was established in the September 16, 1993, edition of FAA Order JO 7400.2, Procedures for Handling Airspace Matters.2 The FAA therefore considers the original R–2206 as grand-fathered under the ‘‘1,500AGL/ 3NM’’ restricted area exclusion in FAA Order JO 7400.2.3 khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with PROPOSALS What drove MDAs LRDR to Clear AK? Section 235(a)(1) of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 required MDA to deploy a LRDR to protect the United States against long-range ballistic missile threats from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and to locate the LRDR ‘‘at a location optimized to support the defense of the homeland of the United States.’’ Public Law 113–66; 10 U.S.C. 2431 (Dec. 26, 2013). Section 235(b)(1) of the NDAA for FY 2014 also required the Secretary of Defense to ensure capability ‘‘to deploy additional tracking and discrimination sensor capabilities to support the defense of the homeland of the United States from future long-range ballistic missile threats that emerge from Iran.’’ Section 1684 of the NDAA for FY 2016 expressed ‘‘the sense of Congress that additional missile defense sensor discrimination capabilities are needed to enhance the protection of the United States homeland against potential longrange ballistic missiles from Iran that, according to the Department of Defense, could soon be obtained by Iran as a result of its active space launch program.’’ Public Law 114–92; 10 U.S.C. 2431 (Jan. 6, 2015). Moreover, Sec. 1684(d)(1) of the NDAA for FY 2016 established a deadline for deployment of a defensive system by December 31, 2020. After a detailed evaluation of cost, schedule, and performance as well as other mission related factors, the DoD determined that Clear AFS was the preferred site for the LRDR and designated the USAF as the lead service for LRDR. What is the mission of LRDR? The mission of the LRDR program is to define, develop, acquire, test, field, and sustain the LRDR as an element of the DoD BMDS in support of the Ground-Based Midcourse Defense (GMO) program’s Homeland Defense 2 The current version of this Order is accessible at: https://www.faa.gov/documentLibrary/media/ Order/7400.2M_Bsc_w_Chg_1_2_dtd_7_16_20.pdf. See sub-section 23–1–4, Restricted Area Floor. 3 The FAA intends to revise FAA Order JO 7400.2 to reflect this grand-fathering policy. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:41 Feb 23, 2021 Jkt 253001 Capability. The LRDR will provide persistent long-range midcourse discrimination, precision tracking, and hit assessment to support the GMO capability against long-range missile threats originating from North Korea and Iran. LRDR contributes to MDA’s mission of developing and deploying a layered BMDS to defend the United States from ballistic missile attacks of all ranges in all phases of flight. LRDR’s improved discrimination capability increases the defensive capacity of the homeland defense interceptor inventory by enabling the conservation of groundbased interceptors. LRDR also supports additional DoD mission areas such as Space Situational Awareness and Intelligence Data Collection. Changes in operational posture due to the evolving threat, which would result in LRDR deployment with unacceptable levels of HIRF exposure for aviation, necessitate the requirement for additional restricted airspace to support LRDR’s critical national defense mission at Clear AFS. USAF Proposal to the FAA By memorandum dated September 30, 2019, the USAF submitted a proposal to the FAA to establish two new restricted areas in the vicinity of Clear AFS, to protect the NAS from the HIRF produced by the LRDR. The proposed restricted airspace requires lateral and vertical limits larger than the current R– 2206 to support the deployment of the DoD’s LRDR to meet increased warfighter defense and readiness postures. This proposal would maintain the existing restricted area R–2206 in its current configuration but rename it R– 2206A, and would supplement this area with six new restricted areas designated R–2206B, R–2206C, R–2206D, R–2206E, R–2206F, and R–2206G. This proposal would exclude airspace 1,500 feet AGL and below within a 3 NM radius of PACL for the new restricted areas, with exceptions. The exceptions would limit activation of lower altitude restricted areas near PACL airport (i.e., proposed R–2206D and R–2206E) to three times a week for two hours, and other times by Notice to Airmen (NOTAM). The FAA identified the need for one of the new restricted areas (i.e., R–2206F) that provides an additional 1,100 feet of navigable airspace along Parks Highway to the Northeast of Clear, AK. This additional restricted area would allow for a visual route following a known landmark during normal operations. The addition of the new restricted area to the proposal lead the FAA to re-letter the proposed restricted areas for a more logical sequence: From low to high on the west side and then from low to high on the east side. PO 00000 Frm 00040 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 11195 For purposes of this rulemaking, the FAA has approved a deviation from the ‘‘1,500AGL/3NM’’ restricted area exclusion standard in paragraph 23–1– 4–c of FAA JO 7400.2 for this USAF restricted area proposal, given the extraordinary nature of the LRDR national defense mission required by Congress, the limited citing options available to the USAF to achieve its mission, and the FAA’s ability to identify and implement airspace safety and access mitigations at Clear, Alaska. As previously explained, the NDAA for FY 2014 required MDA to deploy a LRDR ‘‘at a location optimized to support the defense of the homeland of the United States.’’ 4 Moreover, MDA was subsequently directed to deploy the system by December 31, 2020. The FY2016 NDAA created the LRDR program of record and required ‘‘in a location optimized to support the defense of the homeland of the United States from emerging long-range ballistic missile threats from Iran.’’ 5 To support implementation of this mission, the MDA narrowed the LRDR site selection from 50 possible locations to two locations in Alaska based on evaluative criteria that included, construction and schedule timelines in light of the NDAA mandate, mission assurance, impacts to existing civilian and military infrastructure, and other resource considerations. Of the two remaining sites, only Clear AFS met all of the levied LRDR requirements. The alternative option in Alaska, Eareckson AFS, was ruled out due to remote geographical concerns, which added unacceptable risk to timely and successful deployment as compared to Clear AFS. Moreover, the MDA concluded that the Clear AFS location in Central Alaska offered expanded engagement space necessary to fulfill the LRDR mission. This additional engagement space affords more visibility of hostile threat complexes and greater time to track, discriminate and target lethal incoming objects and results in a much greater probability of successful target intercept. The siting recommendation of Clear AFS was approved in 2016 by the USAF and funding for LRDR at Clear AFS was approved in the FY17 National Defense Authorization Act.6 The FAA supports a limited deviation in this NPRM based upon the FAA’s ability to balance successfully the national defense interests of the LRDR 4 Public Law 113–66; 10 U.S.C. 2431 (Dec. 26, 2013). 5 Public Law 114–92; 10 U.S.C. 2431 (Jan. 6, 2015). 6 Public Law 114–328; 10 U.S.C. 2431 (Dec. 23, 2016). E:\FR\FM\24FEP1.SGM 24FEP1 11196 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 35 / Wednesday, February 24, 2021 / Proposed Rules khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with PROPOSALS system against the optimum use of airspace and ability to ensure safe operation of the NAS during LRDR deployments. Indeed, the DoD proposal incorporates limited activation times for the proposed restricted areas that do not meet the ‘‘1,500AGL/3NM’’ restricted area exclusion standard (i.e., proposed R–2206D and R–2206E), which would be reserved for scheduled calibration of the LRDR and real world emergency or extraordinary events. In usual defensive posture, all active restricted areas would comply with the ‘‘1,500AGL/3NM’’ restricted area exclusion standard. This segmented approach is expected to reduce the overall impact of the LRDR HIRF to civil aviation near PACL. Moreover, the proposal includes a requirement for coordination procedures to be included in a Letter of Procedure (LOP), further ensuring the safe operation of aircraft and preservation of access to the airspace in and around PACL. The LOP would provide that every effort will be made to ensure that emergency aircraft and inflight emergencies needing access to the proposed special use airspace (SUA) are prioritized and accommodated safely (i.e., by deactivation of the LRDR). The FAA therefore proposes these restricted areas, seeking a balance between civil aviation activities and the national defense of the United States. The FAA emphasizes that any deviations from FAA Orders are reviewed on a case-by-case basis and reserved for extraordinary circumstances under which the FAA may determine that the national defense benefits of a deviation outweigh the costs of additional airspace mitigations to manage the safe and efficient operation of the NAS and impacts on the access to public use airports by the flying public. The decision to deviate from FAA Order JO 7400.2 in this NPRM is not binding on future determinations by the FAA concerning whether to approve a deviation. Any future requests will be evaluated on their merits, based on the facts and circumstances available at that time and consistent with the FAA’s statutory responsibilities. What activities will take place within R– 2206 A through G? The activity to be performed at Clear AFS within the proposed restricted areas is Ballistic Missile Defense of the United States. System testing is expected to begin in early 2021 and full operational capability, to include integration into the DoD BMDS, is expected to occur in 2022. During the system testing phase, the FAA has agreed to establish 14 CFR 99.7, special VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:41 Feb 23, 2021 Jkt 253001 security instructions (SSI), implemented as a temporary flight restriction, as an interim airspace mitigation to protect aviation from the HIRF produced by the LRDR system. LRDR is a unique and vital component of the BMDS and will be available continuously both as an early-warning sensor and as an enabler for more effective employment of ground-based interceptors. The LRDR design features high system availability and maintain-while-operate architecture; this ensures that LRDR will be in a continual posture to fight in response to real-word, no-notice events. LRDR also supports additional mission areas including Space Situational Awareness and Intelligence Data Collection. As proposed, in routine or normal defensive posture, LRDR would operate at reduced HIRF levels within the proposed restricted areas that provide for the ‘‘1,500AGL/3NM’’ restricted area exclusion. This would be accomplished by enforcing main beam elevation limits in the direction of Clear Airport to provide a minimum of 1,500′ AGL under the portions of restricted areas within 3 NM of the airport. Prescheduled maintenance and calibration activities would also occur during Routine or Normal posture and would require activation of the additional proposed restricted areas during a few periods per week for a couple of hours at a time. As proposed, these activities would be scheduled when expected air traffic around Clear Airport is minimal, with scheduled times openly distributed by NOTAM and other outreach mechanisms. In heightened defensive posture, MDA may require use of all proposed R–2206 restricted areas to conduct missile defense or other activities in response to real-world events. During these periods of heightened defensive posture, LRDR would be activated with access to its full field of coverage, which would necessitate activation of all proposed R–2206 restricted areas; this provides LRDR access to the airspace for defensive actions within 3NM of Clear Airport at and above 400 feet AGL. Besides conducting actual BMDS engagements, LRDR activities that may require temporary activation of all proposed R–2206 restricted areas include BMDS tests, unique intelligence collection activities such as new foreign space launches, or critical space activities such as collision avoidance involving manned space-flight, satellite break-ups, and satellite deorbits. PO 00000 Frm 00041 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 Required Coordination Between the FAA and MDA Procedures and preplanned actions would be established between the FAA and the MDA to address emergency or extraordinary events in a Letter of Procedure (LOP). The LOP would address pre-determined NOTAMs to handle the activation and scheduling of the three proposed non-continuous restricted areas (R–2206 D, E, F). The LOP would include procedures for handling national defense no-notice activation from NORAD– USNORTHCOM Command Center, as well as notification times for all other requests, to ensure a NOTAM and notifications to the surrounding areas and aviators can take place with reasonable advance notice prior to activation. Pre-determined actions will provide the framework for rapid adaptation of the SUA to handle extraordinary events. The following two scenarios are realistic examples of short-notice events and the coordinated response and action that would be taken by FAA and MDA: (1) Low-altitude restricted areas R– 2206D, E, and F (0200–0400 Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday) have been activated to support a scheduled calibration period; this restricts some of the airspace access into Clear Airport. An aircraft has an in-flight emergency (or is responding to a medivac), needs to land at Clear Airport and the pilot radios the request to air traffic control (ATC). In-flight emergencies have a predetermined response that allows ATC to contact LRDR and request that the low altitude restricted areas be deactivated so that the aircraft can approach Clear Airport without exposure to excessive HIRF. LRDR defensive posture and current activities allow compliance and the restricted areas are deactivated. FAA informs MDA when the aircraft no longer requires R–2206D, E, and F; and MDA reactivates the restricted areas as the SUA schedule allows. (2) LRDR is in Routine or Normal posture and low-altitude restricted areas R–2206D, E, and F are disabled or inactive. U.S. Space Command requests that MDA track a satellite due to an onorbit emergency. The satellite will pass through the LRDR field of view directly behind the Clear Airport, requiring activation of low-altitude restricted areas R–2206D, E, and F to enable lowelevation radar data collection. Based on procedures established via the LOP, MDA notifies ATC of the on-orbit satellite emergency and need to activate the lower restricted areas. FAA activates the restricted areas at the required time and MDA executes the 10 minute E:\FR\FM\24FEP1.SGM 24FEP1 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 35 / Wednesday, February 24, 2021 / Proposed Rules satellite track and data collection to completion. MDA then informs ATC that the operation is complete and FAA returns R–2206D, E, and F to an inactive state. As part of the planned response, the FAA would broadcast the status of R–2206D, E, and F to aircraft in the vicinity of PACL airport. Aviation Considerations The FAA conducted an aeronautical study to assess the impacts of the USAF proposal for new restricted areas over Clear AFS to support the MDA’s LRDR mission. The aeronautical study identified the following aviation impacts and associated changes in procedures, which would be necessary to allow for safe transit of aircraft around R–2206, as proposed to be amended. Impact on IFR (Instrument Flight Rules) and VFR (Visual Flight Rules) Terminal Ops The FAA has reviewed the USAF proposal for impact on arrival and departure flows, Standard Terminal Arrival Route (STAR), Standard Instrument Departure (SID), and departure procedures. The following procedures will need to be revised to avoid the proposed R–2206. MCKINLEY SID—Fairbanks International Airport PUYVO SID—Fairbanks International Airport TAGER STAR—Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport KROTO STAR—Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport Standard Instrument Approach Procedures and Obstacle Departure Procedures: Area Navigation (RNAV) and Global Positioning System (GPS). The following procedures will need to be revised to avoid the proposed R2206. RNAV (GPS) RWY 15—(Approach) Healy River Airport RNAV (GPS)–A—(Approach) Healy River Airport HEALY ONE (RNAV)—(Departure) Healy River Airport khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with PROPOSALS This proposal would leave Healy River Airport with no IFR arrival or departure procedures. Impact on IFR En-Route Ops The proposed R–2206 would impact IFR routes between Anchorage and Fairbanks, Alaska, including Jet Route J–125, Victor Airway V–436, and RNAV Route Q–41. The FAA has identified the need for mitigations altering the current airway/route structure to allow for establishing revised airways around the proposed expansion of R–2206. These changes are expected to result in minimal impact to the flying community. The current V–436 airway VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:41 Feb 23, 2021 Jkt 253001 will need to ‘‘bend’’ around the proposed restricted area due to precipitous terrain and navigational aid confines. This revised airway would allow ground based navigation from Talkeetna, AK, to Fairbanks, AK. J–125 currently navigates from Kodiak, AK, and terminates at Nenana, AK. The segment of the route from Anchorage, AK to Nenana, AK, is primarily used for traffic navigating from Anchorage, AK, to Deadhorse, AK. Because J–115, Q–43, and Q–41provide the same capability as J–125, with minimally increased flight distances, the FAA proposes to delete the segment between Anchorage, AK, and Nenana, AK, of J–125. Q–41 currently navigates from the CAWIN fix, south of Nenana, AK, to Deadhorse, AK. Under this proposal, that route will remain as published, but would require radar due to the proximity to the proposed restricted areas. The FAA proposes to correct any known issues to minimize any impact on the flying public. The Proposal The FAA is proposing an amendment to title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 73 to rename the established restricted area R–2206 to R– 2206A and establish six new restricted areas, to be designated R–2206B, R– 2206C, R–2206D, R–2206E, R–2206F, and R–2206G, over Clear AFS at Clear, AK. The proposed new restricted areas would intersect the established R–2206 area above ground level, but would not include the volume defined by current R–2206. The FAA is proposing this action at the request of the USAF. Full legal descriptions are in the ‘‘The Proposed Amendment’’ section of this NPRM. The proposed restricted areas are described below.7 R–2206A: R–2206 would be amended from R–2206 to R–2206A for ease of charting considering there will be six new restricted areas built upon the original R–2206. R–2206A’s eastern boundary is 1⁄2 mile west of PACL airport. The altitudes would be from surface to 8,800 feet MSL and would be active on a continuous basis. R–2206B: R–2206B would be established west of Clear AFS fanning clockwise from the southwest to the northwest excluding the portion within R–2206A. R–2206B’s eastern boundary is 3 miles west of PACL airport. The altitudes would be from 1,100 feet MSL to but not including 1,600 feet MSL and would be active on a continuous basis. 7 The FAA has uploaded a graphical depiction of the proposed restricted areas to the docket for this rulemaking. PO 00000 Frm 00042 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 11197 R–2206C: R–2206C would be established west of Clear AFS fanning clockwise from the southwest to the northwest excluding the portion within R–2206A. R–2206C’s eastern boundary is 3 miles west of PACL airport. The altitudes would be from 1,100 feet MSL to 32,000 feet MSL and would be active on a continuous basis. R–2206D: R–2206D would be established northeast of Clear AFS fanning clockwise from the northwest to the northeast excluding the portion within R–2206A. R–2206D’s eastern boundary is 1⁄2 mile west of PACL airport. The altitudes would be from 1,100 feet MSL to but not including 1,600 feet MSL. Activation times would be from 0200–0400 local time, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday; other times by NOTAM. R–2206E: R–2206E would be established northeast of Clear AFS fanning clockwise from the northwest to the northeast excluding the portion within R–2206A. R–2206E’s eastern boundary is 1⁄2 mile west of PACL airport. The altitudes would be from 1,600 feet MSL to but not including 2,100 feet MSL. Activation times would be from 0200–0400 local time, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday; other times by NOTAM. R–2206F: R–2206F would be established northeast of Clear AFS allowing for VFR aircraft to transition along Highway 3, Parks Highway. R– 2206F’s southern boundary is 3 miles north of PACL airport. The altitudes would be from 2,100 feet MSL to 3,200 feet MSL. Activation times would be from 0200–0400 local time, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday; other times by NOTAM. R–2206G: R–2206G would be established northeast of Clear AFS fanning clockwise from the northwest to the northeast excluding the portion within R–2206A and R–2206F. R– 2206G’s eastern boundary is 1⁄2 mile west of PACL airport. The altitudes would be from 2,100 feet MSL to 32,000 feet MSL and would be active on a continuous basis. Regulatory Notices and Analyses The FAA has determined that this proposed regulation only involves an established body of technical regulations for which frequent and routine amendments are necessary to keep them operationally current. It, therefore: (1) Is not a ‘‘significant regulatory action’’ under Executive Order 12866; (2) is not ‘‘significant’’ as defined in DOT’s Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034; February 26, 1979); and (3) does not warrant preparation of a regulatory evaluation as E:\FR\FM\24FEP1.SGM 24FEP1 11198 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 35 / Wednesday, February 24, 2021 / Proposed Rules 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 proposed 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 This proposal will be subject to an environmental analysis in accordance with FAA Order 1050.1F, ‘‘Environmental Impacts: Policies and Procedures,’’ prior to any FAA final regulatory action. List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 73 Airspace, Prohibited areas, Restricted areas. The Proposed Amendment In consideration of the foregoing, the Federal Aviation Administration proposes to amend 14 CFR part 73 as follows: PART 73—SPECIAL USE AIRSPACE 1. The authority citation for part 73 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. § 73.22 Alaska [Amended] 2. Section 73.22 is amended as follows: * * * * * ■ khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with PROPOSALS R–2206A Clear, AK [Amended] Boundaries. Beginning at lat. 64°19′44″ N, long. 149°15′42″ W; to lat. 64°19′44″ N, long. 149°10′18″ W; thence south, 100 feet west of and parallel to the Alaska Railroad to lat. 64°16′17″ N, long. 149°10′14″ W; to lat. 64°16′17″ N, long. 149°15′42″ W; to the point of beginning. Designated Altitudes. Surface to 8,800 feet MSL. Time of designation. Continuous. Controlling agency. FAA, Anchorage ARTCC. Using agency. Commander 13th Missile Warning Squadron, Clear, AK. R–2206B Clear, AK [New] Boundaries. Beginning at lat. 64°20′13″ N, long. 149°13′12″ W; to lat. 64°17′20″ N, long. 149°11′25″ W; to lat. 64°14′31″ N, long. 149°13′43″ W; thence clockwise along a 3.0 NM arc radius centered at lat. 64°17′20″ N, long. 149°11′25″ W; thence to the point of beginning; excluding that portion wholly contained in R–2206A. Altitudes. 1,000 feet MSL to but not including 1,600′ MSL. Time of designation. Continuous. Controlling agency. FAA, Anchorage ARTCC. Using agency. Commander 13th Missile Warning Squadron, Clear, AK. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:41 Feb 23, 2021 Jkt 253001 R–2206C Clear, AK [New] Boundaries. Beginning at lat. 64°19′27″ N, long. 149°20′22″ W; thence clockwise along a 4.0 NM arc radius centered at lat. 64°20′22″ N, long. 149°11′25″ W; to lat. 64°23′56″ N, long. 149°15′30″ W; to lat. 64°17′20″ N, long. 149°11′25″ W; to lat. 64°14′10″ N, long. 149°14′01″ W; thence along a 3.0 NM arc radius centered at lat. 64°16′55″ N, long. 149°16′41″ W; to the point of beginning; excluding that portion wholly contained in R–2206A. Altitudes. 1,600 feet MSL to 32,000 feet MSL. Time of designation. Continuous. Controlling agency. FAA, Anchorage ARTCC. Using agency. Commander 13th Missile Warning Squadron, Clear, AK. R–2206D Clear, AK [New] Boundaries. Beginning at lat. 64°20′13″ N, long. 149°13′12″ W; thence clockwise along a 3.0 NM arc radius centered at lat. 64°17′20″ N, long. 149°11′25″ W; to lat. 64°18′47″ N, long. 149°05′23″ W; to lat. 64°17′20″ N, long. 149°11′25″ W; thence to point of beginning; excluding that portion wholly contained in R–2206A. Altitudes. 1,000 feet MSL to but not including 1,600 feet MSL. Time of designation. 0200–0400 local time, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday; other times by NOTAM. Controlling agency. FAA, Anchorage ARTCC. Using agency. Commander 13th Missile Warning Squadron, Clear, AK. R–2206E Clear, AK [New] Boundaries. Beginning at lat. 64°23′56″ N, long. 149°15′30″ W; thence clockwise along a 4.0 NM arc radius centered at lat. 64°20′22″ N, long. 149°11′25″ W; to lat. 64°19′29″ N, long. 149°02′27″ W; to lat. 64°17′20″ N, long. 149°11′25″ W; thence to point of beginning; excluding that portion wholly contained in R–2206A. Altitudes. 1,600 feet MSL to but not including 2,100 feet MSL. Time of designation. 0200–0400 local time, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday; other times by NOTAM. Controlling agency. FAA, Anchorage ARTCC. Using agency. Commander 13th Missile Warning Squadron, Clear, AK. R–2206F Clear, AK [New] Boundaries. Beginning at lat. 64°22′07″ N, long. 149°03′09″ W; thence clockwise along the 4.0 NM arc radius centered at lat. 64°20′22″ N, long. 149°11′25″ W; to lat. 64°19′29″ N, long. 149°02′27″ W; to lat. 64°19′19″ N, long. 149°03′07″ W; to lat. 64°19′36″ N, long. 149°03′18″ W; thence north, along a path 1⁄2 NM west of Highway 3, Parks Highway.; to lat. 64°21′42″ N, long. 149°03′37″ W; to the point of beginning. Altitudes. 2,100 feet MSL to 3,200 feet MSL. Time of designation. 0200–0400 local time, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday; other times by NOTAM. Controlling agency. FAA, Anchorage ARTCC. PO 00000 Frm 00043 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 Using agency. Commander 13th Missile Warning Squadron, Clear, AK. R–2206G Clear, AK [New] Boundaries. Beginning at lat. 64°23′56″ N, long. 149°15′30″ W; thence clockwise along a 4.0 NM arc radius centered at lat. 64°20′22″ N, long. 149°11′25″ W; to lat. 64°19′29″ N, long. 149°02′27″ W; to lat. 64°17′20″ N, long. 149°11′25″ W; thence to point of beginning; excluding; (1) that portion wholly contained in R–2206A; (2) that portion wholly contained in R–2206F. Altitudes. 2,100 feet MSL to 32,000 feet MSL. Time of designation. Continuous. Controlling agency. FAA, Anchorage ARTCC. Using agency. Commander 13th Missile Warning Squadron, Clear, AK. * * * * * Issued in Washington, DC, on February 19, 2021. Mark E. Gauch, Acting Manager, Rules and Regulations Group. [FR Doc. 2021–03849 Filed 2–22–21; 11:15 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket Number USCG–2021–0014] RIN 1625–AA00 Safety Zones; Coast Guard Sector Ohio Valley Annual and Recurring Safety Zones Coast Guard, DHS. Notice of proposed rulemaking. AGENCY: ACTION: The Coast Guard proposes to amend and update its list of recurring safety zone regulations that take place in the Coast Guard Sector Ohio Valley area of responsibility (AOR). Through this rule the current list of recurring safety zones is proposed to be updated with revisions, additional events, and removal of events that no longer take place. This proposed rule would reduce administrative costs involved in producing separate proposed rules for each individual recurring safety zone and serve to provide notice of the known recurring safety zones throughout the year. We invite your comments on this proposed rulemaking. DATES: Comments and related material must be received by the Coast Guard on or before March 26, 2021. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by docket number USCG– 2021–0014 using the Federal SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\24FEP1.SGM 24FEP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 35 (Wednesday, February 24, 2021)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 11194-11198]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-03849]



[[Page 11194]]

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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 73

[Docket No. FAA-2020-0755; Airspace Docket No. 19-AAL-83]
RIN 2120-AA66


Proposed Amendment of R-2206 and Establishment of Restricted 
Areas R-2206B, R-2206C, R-2206D, R-2206E, R-2206F, and R-2206G; Clear, 
AK

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of 
Transportation (DOT).

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: This action proposes to rename the established restricted 
areas R-2206 to R-2206A and establish six new restricted areas R-2206B, 
R-2206C, R-2206D, R-2206E, R-2206F, and R-2206G, over the Clear Air 
Force Station (Clear AFS) at Clear, AK. The United States Air Force 
(USAF) on behalf of the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) requested this 
action to protect aircraft from hazardous High-Intensity Radiated Field 
(HIRF) produced by the Long Range Discrimination Radar (LRDR) at Clear 
AFS. LRDR contributes to the MDA's mission of developing and deploying 
a layered Department of Defense (DoD) Ballistic Missile Defense System 
(BMDS) to defend the United States from ballistic missile attacks of 
all ranges in all phases of flight. The proposed restricted areas are 
necessary to protect aviation from the hazardous HIRF and segregate 
non-participating aircraft.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before April 26, 2021.

ADDRESSES: Send comments on this proposal to the U.S. Department of 
Transportation, Docket Operations, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, West 
Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590-0001; 
telephone: (800) 647-5527, or (202) 366-9826. You must identify FAA 
Docket Number FAA-2020-0755; Airspace Docket No. 19-AAL-83 at the 
beginning of your comments. You may also submit comments through the 
internet at https://www.regulations.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Christopher McMullin, Rules and 
Regulations Group, Office of Policy, Federal Aviation Administration, 
800 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20591; telephone: (202) 267-
8783.

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 (U.S.C.). 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 the 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 would establish restricted airspace at Clear, AK, to 
protect aviation from activities deemed hazardous to nonparticipating 
aircraft.

Comments Invited

    Interested parties are invited to participate in this proposed 
rulemaking by submitting such written data, views, or arguments, as 
they may desire. Comments that provide the factual basis supporting the 
views and suggestions presented are particularly helpful in developing 
reasoned regulatory decisions on the proposal. Comments are 
specifically invited on the overall regulatory, aeronautical, economic, 
environmental, and energy-related aspects of the proposal.
    Communications should identify both docket numbers (FAA Docket 
Number FAA-2020-0755; Airspace Docket No. 19-AAL-83) and be submitted 
in triplicate to the Docket Management Facility (see ADDRESSES section 
for address and phone number). You may also submit comments through the 
internet at https://www.regulations.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 FAA-2020-0755; Airspace Docket No. 19-AAL-83.'' The 
postcard will be date/time stamped and returned to the commenter.
    All communications received on or before the specified comment 
closing date will be considered before taking action on the proposed 
rule. The proposal contained in this action may be changed in light of 
comments received. All comments submitted will be available for 
examination in the public docket both before and after the comment 
closing date. A report summarizing each substantive public contact with 
FAA personnel concerned with this rulemaking will be filed in the 
docket.

Availability of NPRM

    An electronic copy of this document may be downloaded through the 
internet at https://www.regulations.gov. Recently published rulemaking 
documents can also be accessed through the FAA's web page at https://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publications/airspace_amendments/.
    You may review the public docket containing the proposal, any 
comments received and any final disposition in person in the Dockets 
Office (see ADDRESSES section for address and phone number) between 
9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal 
holidays. An informal docket may also be examined during normal 
business hours at the office of the Western Service Center, Operations 
Support Group, Federal Aviation Administration, 2200 South 216th St., 
Des Moines, WA 98198.

Background

History of R-2206 and Clear Airport, AK

    R-2206 was initially established as R-20 for a limited duration 
effective January 1, 1961 (25 FR 12174), over the Clear AFS, at Clear, 
AK, to protect the National Airspace System (NAS) while a potential 
radiation hazard caused by the Ballistic Missile Early Warning System 
(BMEWS) was assessed by the USAF. The designation of R-2206 was later 
amended to extend the duration for an indefinite period in May 1962 (27 
FR 4553) due to ongoing concern regarding the radiation hazard 
associated with BMEWS.
    Initially established for private use by the military in support of 
the BMEWS mission, Clear Airport (PACL) is located less than \1/2\ 
Nautical Mile (NM) from the eastern boundary of R-2206. The airport was 
leased by the Secretary of the Air Force to the State of Alaska on 
December 20, 1974. The FAA performed an airspace review and issued a 
letter of ``no objection'' to convert the airport from private to 
public use on January 20, 1976.\1\ Subsequently, the land (1,814 acres) 
was declared surplus excess by the USAF and conveyed to the State of 
Alaska in the late 1980s. PACL has remained in its original location 
since being converted to public use. The FAA did not object to the 
proximity of R-2206 to the airport when it was converted to a public 
use airport, because at the time of conversion, there was no 
established standard to separate restricted areas and public use 
airports.

[[Page 11195]]

The minimum standard for exclusion of airspace 1,500 feet AGL and below 
within a 3 NM radius of airports available for public use was 
established in the September 16, 1993, edition of FAA Order JO 7400.2, 
Procedures for Handling Airspace Matters.\2\ The FAA therefore 
considers the original R-2206 as grand-fathered under the ``1,500AGL/
3NM'' restricted area exclusion in FAA Order JO 7400.2.\3\
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    \1\ A copy of this letter has been placed in the docket for this 
rulemaking.
    \2\ The current version of this Order is accessible at: https://www.faa.gov/documentLibrary/media/Order/7400.2M_Bsc_w_Chg_1_2_dtd_7_16_20.pdf. See sub-section 23-1-4, 
Restricted Area Floor.
    \3\ The FAA intends to revise FAA Order JO 7400.2 to reflect 
this grand-fathering policy.
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What drove MDAs LRDR to Clear AK?

    Section 235(a)(1) of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) 
for Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 required MDA to deploy a LRDR to protect the 
United States against long-range ballistic missile threats from the 
Democratic People's Republic of Korea and to locate the LRDR ``at a 
location optimized to support the defense of the homeland of the United 
States.'' Public Law 113-66; 10 U.S.C. 2431 (Dec. 26, 2013). Section 
235(b)(1) of the NDAA for FY 2014 also required the Secretary of 
Defense to ensure capability ``to deploy additional tracking and 
discrimination sensor capabilities to support the defense of the 
homeland of the United States from future long-range ballistic missile 
threats that emerge from Iran.''
    Section 1684 of the NDAA for FY 2016 expressed ``the sense of 
Congress that additional missile defense sensor discrimination 
capabilities are needed to enhance the protection of the United States 
homeland against potential long-range ballistic missiles from Iran 
that, according to the Department of Defense, could soon be obtained by 
Iran as a result of its active space launch program.'' Public Law 114-
92; 10 U.S.C. 2431 (Jan. 6, 2015). Moreover, Sec. 1684(d)(1) of the 
NDAA for FY 2016 established a deadline for deployment of a defensive 
system by December 31, 2020.
    After a detailed evaluation of cost, schedule, and performance as 
well as other mission related factors, the DoD determined that Clear 
AFS was the preferred site for the LRDR and designated the USAF as the 
lead service for LRDR.

What is the mission of LRDR?

    The mission of the LRDR program is to define, develop, acquire, 
test, field, and sustain the LRDR as an element of the DoD BMDS in 
support of the Ground-Based Midcourse Defense (GMO) program's Homeland 
Defense Capability. The LRDR will provide persistent long-range 
midcourse discrimination, precision tracking, and hit assessment to 
support the GMO capability against long-range missile threats 
originating from North Korea and Iran. LRDR contributes to MDA's 
mission of developing and deploying a layered BMDS to defend the United 
States from ballistic missile attacks of all ranges in all phases of 
flight. LRDR's improved discrimination capability increases the 
defensive capacity of the homeland defense interceptor inventory by 
enabling the conservation of ground-based interceptors. LRDR also 
supports additional DoD mission areas such as Space Situational 
Awareness and Intelligence Data Collection. Changes in operational 
posture due to the evolving threat, which would result in LRDR 
deployment with unacceptable levels of HIRF exposure for aviation, 
necessitate the requirement for additional restricted airspace to 
support LRDR's critical national defense mission at Clear AFS.

USAF Proposal to the FAA

    By memorandum dated September 30, 2019, the USAF submitted a 
proposal to the FAA to establish two new restricted areas in the 
vicinity of Clear AFS, to protect the NAS from the HIRF produced by the 
LRDR. The proposed restricted airspace requires lateral and vertical 
limits larger than the current R-2206 to support the deployment of the 
DoD's LRDR to meet increased warfighter defense and readiness postures. 
This proposal would maintain the existing restricted area R-2206 in its 
current configuration but rename it R-2206A, and would supplement this 
area with six new restricted areas designated R-2206B, R-2206C, R-
2206D, R-2206E, R-2206F, and R-2206G. This proposal would exclude 
airspace 1,500 feet AGL and below within a 3 NM radius of PACL for the 
new restricted areas, with exceptions. The exceptions would limit 
activation of lower altitude restricted areas near PACL airport (i.e., 
proposed R-2206D and R-2206E) to three times a week for two hours, and 
other times by Notice to Airmen (NOTAM). The FAA identified the need 
for one of the new restricted areas (i.e., R-2206F) that provides an 
additional 1,100 feet of navigable airspace along Parks Highway to the 
Northeast of Clear, AK. This additional restricted area would allow for 
a visual route following a known landmark during normal operations. The 
addition of the new restricted area to the proposal lead the FAA to re-
letter the proposed restricted areas for a more logical sequence: From 
low to high on the west side and then from low to high on the east 
side.
    For purposes of this rulemaking, the FAA has approved a deviation 
from the ``1,500AGL/3NM'' restricted area exclusion standard in 
paragraph 23-1-4-c of FAA JO 7400.2 for this USAF restricted area 
proposal, given the extraordinary nature of the LRDR national defense 
mission required by Congress, the limited citing options available to 
the USAF to achieve its mission, and the FAA's ability to identify and 
implement airspace safety and access mitigations at Clear, Alaska.
    As previously explained, the NDAA for FY 2014 required MDA to 
deploy a LRDR ``at a location optimized to support the defense of the 
homeland of the United States.'' \4\ Moreover, MDA was subsequently 
directed to deploy the system by December 31, 2020. The FY2016 NDAA 
created the LRDR program of record and required ``in a location 
optimized to support the defense of the homeland of the United States 
from emerging long-range ballistic missile threats from Iran.'' \5\ To 
support implementation of this mission, the MDA narrowed the LRDR site 
selection from 50 possible locations to two locations in Alaska based 
on evaluative criteria that included, construction and schedule 
timelines in light of the NDAA mandate, mission assurance, impacts to 
existing civilian and military infrastructure, and other resource 
considerations. Of the two remaining sites, only Clear AFS met all of 
the levied LRDR requirements. The alternative option in Alaska, 
Eareckson AFS, was ruled out due to remote geographical concerns, which 
added unacceptable risk to timely and successful deployment as compared 
to Clear AFS. Moreover, the MDA concluded that the Clear AFS location 
in Central Alaska offered expanded engagement space necessary to 
fulfill the LRDR mission. This additional engagement space affords more 
visibility of hostile threat complexes and greater time to track, 
discriminate and target lethal incoming objects and results in a much 
greater probability of successful target intercept. The siting 
recommendation of Clear AFS was approved in 2016 by the USAF and 
funding for LRDR at Clear AFS was approved in the FY17 National Defense 
Authorization Act.\6\
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    \4\ Public Law 113-66; 10 U.S.C. 2431 (Dec. 26, 2013).
    \5\ Public Law 114-92; 10 U.S.C. 2431 (Jan. 6, 2015).
    \6\ Public Law 114-328; 10 U.S.C. 2431 (Dec. 23, 2016).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The FAA supports a limited deviation in this NPRM based upon the 
FAA's ability to balance successfully the national defense interests of 
the LRDR

[[Page 11196]]

system against the optimum use of airspace and ability to ensure safe 
operation of the NAS during LRDR deployments. Indeed, the DoD proposal 
incorporates limited activation times for the proposed restricted areas 
that do not meet the ``1,500AGL/3NM'' restricted area exclusion 
standard (i.e., proposed R-2206D and R-2206E), which would be reserved 
for scheduled calibration of the LRDR and real world emergency or 
extraordinary events. In usual defensive posture, all active restricted 
areas would comply with the ``1,500AGL/3NM'' restricted area exclusion 
standard. This segmented approach is expected to reduce the overall 
impact of the LRDR HIRF to civil aviation near PACL. Moreover, the 
proposal includes a requirement for coordination procedures to be 
included in a Letter of Procedure (LOP), further ensuring the safe 
operation of aircraft and preservation of access to the airspace in and 
around PACL. The LOP would provide that every effort will be made to 
ensure that emergency aircraft and in-flight emergencies needing access 
to the proposed special use airspace (SUA) are prioritized and 
accommodated safely (i.e., by deactivation of the LRDR).
    The FAA therefore proposes these restricted areas, seeking a 
balance between civil aviation activities and the national defense of 
the United States. The FAA emphasizes that any deviations from FAA 
Orders are reviewed on a case-by-case basis and reserved for 
extraordinary circumstances under which the FAA may determine that the 
national defense benefits of a deviation outweigh the costs of 
additional airspace mitigations to manage the safe and efficient 
operation of the NAS and impacts on the access to public use airports 
by the flying public. The decision to deviate from FAA Order JO 7400.2 
in this NPRM is not binding on future determinations by the FAA 
concerning whether to approve a deviation. Any future requests will be 
evaluated on their merits, based on the facts and circumstances 
available at that time and consistent with the FAA's statutory 
responsibilities.

What activities will take place within R-2206 A through G?

    The activity to be performed at Clear AFS within the proposed 
restricted areas is Ballistic Missile Defense of the United States. 
System testing is expected to begin in early 2021 and full operational 
capability, to include integration into the DoD BMDS, is expected to 
occur in 2022. During the system testing phase, the FAA has agreed to 
establish 14 CFR 99.7, special security instructions (SSI), implemented 
as a temporary flight restriction, as an interim airspace mitigation to 
protect aviation from the HIRF produced by the LRDR system. LRDR is a 
unique and vital component of the BMDS and will be available 
continuously both as an early-warning sensor and as an enabler for more 
effective employment of ground-based interceptors. The LRDR design 
features high system availability and maintain-while-operate 
architecture; this ensures that LRDR will be in a continual posture to 
fight in response to real-word, no-notice events. LRDR also supports 
additional mission areas including Space Situational Awareness and 
Intelligence Data Collection.
    As proposed, in routine or normal defensive posture, LRDR would 
operate at reduced HIRF levels within the proposed restricted areas 
that provide for the ``1,500AGL/3NM'' restricted area exclusion. This 
would be accomplished by enforcing main beam elevation limits in the 
direction of Clear Airport to provide a minimum of 1,500' AGL under the 
portions of restricted areas within 3 NM of the airport. Prescheduled 
maintenance and calibration activities would also occur during Routine 
or Normal posture and would require activation of the additional 
proposed restricted areas during a few periods per week for a couple of 
hours at a time. As proposed, these activities would be scheduled when 
expected air traffic around Clear Airport is minimal, with scheduled 
times openly distributed by NOTAM and other outreach mechanisms.
    In heightened defensive posture, MDA may require use of all 
proposed R-2206 restricted areas to conduct missile defense or other 
activities in response to real-world events. During these periods of 
heightened defensive posture, LRDR would be activated with access to 
its full field of coverage, which would necessitate activation of all 
proposed R-2206 restricted areas; this provides LRDR access to the 
airspace for defensive actions within 3NM of Clear Airport at and above 
400 feet AGL. Besides conducting actual BMDS engagements, LRDR 
activities that may require temporary activation of all proposed R-2206 
restricted areas include BMDS tests, unique intelligence collection 
activities such as new foreign space launches, or critical space 
activities such as collision avoidance involving manned space-flight, 
satellite break-ups, and satellite deorbits.

Required Coordination Between the FAA and MDA

    Procedures and preplanned actions would be established between the 
FAA and the MDA to address emergency or extraordinary events in a 
Letter of Procedure (LOP). The LOP would address pre-determined NOTAMs 
to handle the activation and scheduling of the three proposed non-
continuous restricted areas (R-2206 D, E, F). The LOP would include 
procedures for handling national defense no-notice activation from 
NORAD-USNORTHCOM Command Center, as well as notification times for all 
other requests, to ensure a NOTAM and notifications to the surrounding 
areas and aviators can take place with reasonable advance notice prior 
to activation. Pre-determined actions will provide the framework for 
rapid adaptation of the SUA to handle extraordinary events.
    The following two scenarios are realistic examples of short-notice 
events and the coordinated response and action that would be taken by 
FAA and MDA:
    (1) Low-altitude restricted areas R-2206D, E, and F (0200-0400 
Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday) have been activated to support a 
scheduled calibration period; this restricts some of the airspace 
access into Clear Airport. An aircraft has an in-flight emergency (or 
is responding to a medivac), needs to land at Clear Airport and the 
pilot radios the request to air traffic control (ATC). In-flight 
emergencies have a pre-determined response that allows ATC to contact 
LRDR and request that the low altitude restricted areas be deactivated 
so that the aircraft can approach Clear Airport without exposure to 
excessive HIRF. LRDR defensive posture and current activities allow 
compliance and the restricted areas are deactivated. FAA informs MDA 
when the aircraft no longer requires R-2206D, E, and F; and MDA 
reactivates the restricted areas as the SUA schedule allows.
    (2) LRDR is in Routine or Normal posture and low-altitude 
restricted areas R-2206D, E, and F are disabled or inactive. U.S. Space 
Command requests that MDA track a satellite due to an on-orbit 
emergency. The satellite will pass through the LRDR field of view 
directly behind the Clear Airport, requiring activation of low-altitude 
restricted areas R-2206D, E, and F to enable low-elevation radar data 
collection. Based on procedures established via the LOP, MDA notifies 
ATC of the on-orbit satellite emergency and need to activate the lower 
restricted areas. FAA activates the restricted areas at the required 
time and MDA executes the 10 minute

[[Page 11197]]

satellite track and data collection to completion. MDA then informs ATC 
that the operation is complete and FAA returns R-2206D, E, and F to an 
inactive state. As part of the planned response, the FAA would 
broadcast the status of R-2206D, E, and F to aircraft in the vicinity 
of PACL airport.

Aviation Considerations

    The FAA conducted an aeronautical study to assess the impacts of 
the USAF proposal for new restricted areas over Clear AFS to support 
the MDA's LRDR mission. The aeronautical study identified the following 
aviation impacts and associated changes in procedures, which would be 
necessary to allow for safe transit of aircraft around R-2206, as 
proposed to be amended.

Impact on IFR (Instrument Flight Rules) and VFR (Visual Flight Rules) 
Terminal Ops

    The FAA has reviewed the USAF proposal for impact on arrival and 
departure flows, Standard Terminal Arrival Route (STAR), Standard 
Instrument Departure (SID), and departure procedures. The following 
procedures will need to be revised to avoid the proposed R-2206.

MCKINLEY SID--Fairbanks International Airport
PUYVO SID--Fairbanks International Airport
TAGER STAR--Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport
KROTO STAR--Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport

Standard Instrument Approach Procedures and Obstacle Departure 
Procedures: Area Navigation (RNAV) and Global Positioning System (GPS). 
The following procedures will need to be revised to avoid the proposed 
R2206.

RNAV (GPS) RWY 15--(Approach) Healy River Airport
RNAV (GPS)-A--(Approach) Healy River Airport
HEALY ONE (RNAV)--(Departure) Healy River Airport

This proposal would leave Healy River Airport with no IFR arrival or 
departure procedures.

Impact on IFR En-Route Ops

    The proposed R-2206 would impact IFR routes between Anchorage and 
Fairbanks, Alaska, including Jet Route J-125, Victor Airway V-436, and 
RNAV Route Q-41. The FAA has identified the need for mitigations 
altering the current airway/route structure to allow for establishing 
revised airways around the proposed expansion of R-2206. These changes 
are expected to result in minimal impact to the flying community. The 
current V-436 airway will need to ``bend'' around the proposed 
restricted area due to precipitous terrain and navigational aid 
confines. This revised airway would allow ground based navigation from 
Talkeetna, AK, to Fairbanks, AK. J-125 currently navigates from Kodiak, 
AK, and terminates at Nenana, AK. The segment of the route from 
Anchorage, AK to Nenana, AK, is primarily used for traffic navigating 
from Anchorage, AK, to Deadhorse, AK. Because J-115, Q-43, and Q-
41provide the same capability as J-125, with minimally increased flight 
distances, the FAA proposes to delete the segment between Anchorage, 
AK, and Nenana, AK, of J-125. Q-41 currently navigates from the CAWIN 
fix, south of Nenana, AK, to Deadhorse, AK. Under this proposal, that 
route will remain as published, but would require radar due to the 
proximity to the proposed restricted areas. The FAA proposes to correct 
any known issues to minimize any impact on the flying public.

The Proposal

    The FAA is proposing an amendment to title 14 Code of Federal 
Regulations (14 CFR) part 73 to rename the established restricted area 
R-2206 to R-2206A and establish six new restricted areas, to be 
designated R-2206B, R-2206C, R-2206D, R-2206E, R-2206F, and R-2206G, 
over Clear AFS at Clear, AK. The proposed new restricted areas would 
intersect the established R-2206 area above ground level, but would not 
include the volume defined by current R-2206. The FAA is proposing this 
action at the request of the USAF. Full legal descriptions are in the 
``The Proposed Amendment'' section of this NPRM.
    The proposed restricted areas are described below.\7\
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    \7\ The FAA has uploaded a graphical depiction of the proposed 
restricted areas to the docket for this rulemaking.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    R-2206A: R-2206 would be amended from R-2206 to R-2206A for ease of 
charting considering there will be six new restricted areas built upon 
the original R-2206. R-2206A's eastern boundary is \1/2\ mile west of 
PACL airport. The altitudes would be from surface to 8,800 feet MSL and 
would be active on a continuous basis.
    R-2206B: R-2206B would be established west of Clear AFS fanning 
clockwise from the southwest to the northwest excluding the portion 
within R-2206A. R-2206B's eastern boundary is 3 miles west of PACL 
airport. The altitudes would be from 1,100 feet MSL to but not 
including 1,600 feet MSL and would be active on a continuous basis.
    R-2206C: R-2206C would be established west of Clear AFS fanning 
clockwise from the southwest to the northwest excluding the portion 
within R-2206A. R-2206C's eastern boundary is 3 miles west of PACL 
airport. The altitudes would be from 1,100 feet MSL to 32,000 feet MSL 
and would be active on a continuous basis.
    R-2206D: R-2206D would be established northeast of Clear AFS 
fanning clockwise from the northwest to the northeast excluding the 
portion within R-2206A. R-2206D's eastern boundary is \1/2\ mile west 
of PACL airport. The altitudes would be from 1,100 feet MSL to but not 
including 1,600 feet MSL. Activation times would be from 0200-0400 
local time, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday; other times by NOTAM.
    R-2206E: R-2206E would be established northeast of Clear AFS 
fanning clockwise from the northwest to the northeast excluding the 
portion within R-2206A. R-2206E's eastern boundary is \1/2\ mile west 
of PACL airport. The altitudes would be from 1,600 feet MSL to but not 
including 2,100 feet MSL. Activation times would be from 0200-0400 
local time, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday; other times by NOTAM.
    R-2206F: R-2206F would be established northeast of Clear AFS 
allowing for VFR aircraft to transition along Highway 3, Parks Highway. 
R-2206F's southern boundary is 3 miles north of PACL airport. The 
altitudes would be from 2,100 feet MSL to 3,200 feet MSL. Activation 
times would be from 0200-0400 local time, Tuesday, Thursday and 
Saturday; other times by NOTAM.
    R-2206G: R-2206G would be established northeast of Clear AFS 
fanning clockwise from the northwest to the northeast excluding the 
portion within R-2206A and R-2206F. R-2206G's eastern boundary is \1/2\ 
mile west of PACL airport. The altitudes would be from 2,100 feet MSL 
to 32,000 feet MSL and would be active on a continuous basis.

Regulatory Notices and Analyses

    The FAA has determined that this proposed regulation only involves 
an established body of technical regulations for which frequent and 
routine amendments are necessary to keep them operationally current. 
It, therefore: (1) Is not a ``significant regulatory action'' under 
Executive Order 12866; (2) is not ``significant'' as defined in DOT's 
Regulatory Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034; February 26, 1979); 
and (3) does not warrant preparation of a regulatory evaluation as

[[Page 11198]]

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 proposed 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

    This proposal will be subject to an environmental analysis in 
accordance with FAA Order 1050.1F, ``Environmental Impacts: Policies 
and Procedures,'' prior to any FAA final regulatory action.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 73

    Airspace, Prohibited areas, Restricted areas.

The Proposed Amendment

    In consideration of the foregoing, the Federal Aviation 
Administration proposes to amend 14 CFR part 73 as follows:

PART 73--SPECIAL USE AIRSPACE

0
1. The authority citation for part 73 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.  73.22  Alaska [Amended]

0
2. Section 73.22 is amended as follows:
* * * * *

R-2206A Clear, AK [Amended]

    Boundaries. Beginning at lat. 64[deg]19'44'' N, long. 
149[deg]15'42'' W; to lat. 64[deg]19'44'' N, long. 149[deg]10'18'' 
W; thence south, 100 feet west of and parallel to the Alaska 
Railroad to lat. 64[deg]16'17'' N, long. 149[deg]10'14'' W; to lat. 
64[deg]16'17'' N, long. 149[deg]15'42'' W; to the point of 
beginning.
    Designated Altitudes. Surface to 8,800 feet MSL.
    Time of designation. Continuous.
    Controlling agency. FAA, Anchorage ARTCC.
    Using agency. Commander 13th Missile Warning Squadron, Clear, 
AK.

R-2206B Clear, AK [New]

    Boundaries. Beginning at lat. 64[deg]20'13'' N, long. 
149[deg]13'12'' W; to lat. 64[deg]17'20'' N, long. 149[deg]11'25'' 
W; to lat. 64[deg]14'31'' N, long. 149[deg]13'43'' W; thence 
clockwise along a 3.0 NM arc radius centered at lat. 64[deg]17'20'' 
N, long. 149[deg]11'25'' W; thence to the point of beginning; 
excluding that portion wholly contained in R-2206A.
    Altitudes. 1,000 feet MSL to but not including 1,600' MSL.
    Time of designation. Continuous.
    Controlling agency. FAA, Anchorage ARTCC.
    Using agency. Commander 13th Missile Warning Squadron, Clear, 
AK.

R-2206C Clear, AK [New]

    Boundaries. Beginning at lat. 64[deg]19'27'' N, long. 
149[deg]20'22'' W; thence clockwise along a 4.0 NM arc radius 
centered at lat. 64[deg]20'22'' N, long. 149[deg]11'25'' W; to lat. 
64[deg]23'56'' N, long. 149[deg]15'30'' W; to lat. 64[deg]17'20'' N, 
long. 149[deg]11'25'' W; to lat. 64[deg]14'10'' N, long. 
149[deg]14'01'' W; thence along a 3.0 NM arc radius centered at lat. 
64[deg]16'55'' N, long. 149[deg]16'41'' W; to the point of 
beginning; excluding that portion wholly contained in R-2206A.
    Altitudes. 1,600 feet MSL to 32,000 feet MSL.
    Time of designation. Continuous.
    Controlling agency. FAA, Anchorage ARTCC.
    Using agency. Commander 13th Missile Warning Squadron, Clear, 
AK.

R-2206D Clear, AK [New]

    Boundaries. Beginning at lat. 64[deg]20'13'' N, long. 
149[deg]13'12'' W; thence clockwise along a 3.0 NM arc radius 
centered at lat. 64[deg]17'20'' N, long. 149[deg]11'25'' W; to lat. 
64[deg]18'47'' N, long. 149[deg]05'23'' W; to lat. 64[deg]17'20'' N, 
long. 149[deg]11'25'' W; thence to point of beginning; excluding 
that portion wholly contained in R-2206A.
    Altitudes. 1,000 feet MSL to but not including 1,600 feet MSL.
    Time of designation. 0200-0400 local time, Tuesday, Thursday and 
Saturday; other times by NOTAM.
    Controlling agency. FAA, Anchorage ARTCC.
    Using agency. Commander 13th Missile Warning Squadron, Clear, 
AK.

R-2206E Clear, AK [New]

    Boundaries. Beginning at lat. 64[deg]23'56'' N, long. 
149[deg]15'30'' W; thence clockwise along a 4.0 NM arc radius 
centered at lat. 64[deg]20'22'' N, long. 149[deg]11'25'' W; to lat. 
64[deg]19'29'' N, long. 149[deg]02'27'' W; to lat. 64[deg]17'20'' N, 
long. 149[deg]11'25'' W; thence to point of beginning; excluding 
that portion wholly contained in R-2206A.
    Altitudes. 1,600 feet MSL to but not including 2,100 feet MSL.
    Time of designation. 0200-0400 local time, Tuesday, Thursday and 
Saturday; other times by NOTAM.
    Controlling agency. FAA, Anchorage ARTCC.
    Using agency. Commander 13th Missile Warning Squadron, Clear, 
AK.

R-2206F Clear, AK [New]

    Boundaries. Beginning at lat. 64[deg]22'07'' N, long. 
149[deg]03'09'' W; thence clockwise along the 4.0 NM arc radius 
centered at lat. 64[deg]20'22'' N, long. 149[deg]11'25'' W; to lat. 
64[deg]19'29'' N, long. 149[deg]02'27'' W; to lat. 64[deg]19'19'' N, 
long. 149[deg]03'07'' W; to lat. 64[deg]19'36'' N, long. 
149[deg]03'18'' W; thence north, along a path \1/2\ NM west of 
Highway 3, Parks Highway.; to lat. 64[deg]21'42'' N, long. 
149[deg]03'37'' W; to the point of beginning.
    Altitudes. 2,100 feet MSL to 3,200 feet MSL.
    Time of designation. 0200-0400 local time, Tuesday, Thursday and 
Saturday; other times by NOTAM.
    Controlling agency. FAA, Anchorage ARTCC.
    Using agency. Commander 13th Missile Warning Squadron, Clear, 
AK.

R-2206G Clear, AK [New]

    Boundaries. Beginning at lat. 64[deg]23'56'' N, long. 
149[deg]15'30'' W; thence clockwise along a 4.0 NM arc radius 
centered at lat. 64[deg]20'22'' N, long. 149[deg]11'25'' W; to lat. 
64[deg]19'29'' N, long. 149[deg]02'27'' W; to lat. 64[deg]17'20'' N, 
long. 149[deg]11'25'' W; thence to point of beginning; excluding; 
(1) that portion wholly contained in R-2206A; (2) that portion 
wholly contained in R-2206F.
    Altitudes. 2,100 feet MSL to 32,000 feet MSL.
    Time of designation. Continuous.
    Controlling agency. FAA, Anchorage ARTCC.
    Using agency. Commander 13th Missile Warning Squadron, Clear, 
AK.
* * * * *

    Issued in Washington, DC, on February 19, 2021.
Mark E. Gauch,
Acting Manager, Rules and Regulations Group.
[FR Doc. 2021-03849 Filed 2-22-21; 11:15 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P