Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for Airspace Optimization for Readiness, Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho

Federal Register, Volume 84 Issue 200 (Wednesday, October 16, 2019)
[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 200 (Wednesday, October 16, 2019)]
[Pages 55290-55291]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office []
[FR Doc No: 2019-22512]
 Department of the Air Force
Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for
Airspace Optimization for Readiness, Mountain Home Air Force Base,
AGENCY: Department of the Air Force, DoD.
ACTION: Notice of intent.
SUMMARY: The United States Air Force (USAF) is issuing this notice of
intent to advise the public of its intent to prepare an Environmental
Impact Statement (EIS) to evaluate potential environmental impacts
associated with a proposed action on Airspace Optimization at Mountain
Home Air Force Base (AFB), Idaho (ID).
DATES: The USAF intends to hold open-house style public scoping
meetings from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. in the following communities on
the following dates: McDermitt, NV. Monday, November 4, 2019. McDermitt
Combined Schools, 100 Olavarria Street, McDermitt, NV 89421. Boise, ID.
Wednesday, November 6, 2019. The Riverside Hotel, 2900 West Chinden
Boulevard, Boise, ID 83714. Grand View, ID. Thursday, November 7, 2019.
Grand View Elementary School, 205 1st Street, Grand View, ID 83624.
Mountain Home, ID. Friday, November 8, 2019, Mountain Home Junior High
School, 1600 East 6th South Street, Mountain Home, ID 83647.
ADDRESSES: For questions regarding the Proposed Action or EIS
development contact Grace Keesling at (210) 925-4534 or
[email protected]. Comments will be accepted at any time
during the environmental impact analysis process. However, to ensure
the USAF has sufficient time to consider public input in the
preparation of the Draft EIS, scoping comments should be submitted via
the project website or to the address listed above by 25 November 2019.
The project website (www.mountainhomeafbairspaceeis .com) provides more
information on the
[[Page 55291]]
EIS and can be used to submit scoping comments. Scoping comments can
also be submitted to Mountain Home AFB Airspace EIS, c/o Leidos, 1740
East Fairview Ave., PMB 20, Meridian, ID 83642.
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Mountain Home AFB managed airspace consists
of six Military Operations Areas (MOAs) with airspace over portions of
Idaho, Nevada, and Oregon and two USAF ranges in Idaho for inert
weapons deployment. The Jarbidge North and Owyhee North MOAs have
operational floors at 100 feet above ground level (AGL). The other four
MOAs (Jarbidge South, Owyhee South, Paradise North, and Paradise South)
have operational floors at 10,000 feet mean sea level (MSL) or 3,000
feet AGL, whichever is higher. Supersonic aircraft flights are
permitted above 30,000 feet MSL within all the MOAs except over the
Duck Valley Indian Reservation. Supersonic events above 10,000 feet AGL
are permitted only in the Jarbidge North and Owyhee North MOAs.
    Modifying this airspace will allow the USAF to provide a more
realistic and efficient airspace training environment and improve
aircrew proficiency in low-altitude tactics and radar masking using
mountainous terrain for survival in a highly contested environment. The
proposed airspace changes include: (1) changing low-altitude
operational airspace floors that currently prohibit realistic low-
altitude training (LOWAT) certification and maintenance training and
negatively impact vertical capability and capacity, (2) providing
consistent low-level operational floors for low-altitude flights to
allow use of topographic features of mountainous terrain to mask the
aircraft and safely neutralize or avoid technologically advanced
threats, and (3) allowing aircrews to descend at supersonic speed and
to fly at lower supersonic altitudes so they can realistically train on
evasive maneuvers.
    While only a small portion of overall flights, any low-altitude
operations would be subject to specific limitations; however, these
operations are essential for training and mission completion.
Alternatives that address the training requirements will be defined as
reasonable alternatives for analysis in the EIS. The analysis will also
include the No Action Alternative which provides a benchmark to enable
USAF decision-makers to compare the magnitude of the potential
environmental effects of the Proposed Action. The Federal Aviation
Administration is a Cooperating Agency for this EIS.
    Scoping and Agency Coordination: To effectively define the full
range of issues to be evaluated in the EIS, the USAF will solicit
written comments from interested local, state, and federal agencies and
elected officials, Native American tribes, interested members of the
public, and others. Public scoping meetings will be held in the local
communities beneath or adjacent to the airspace. The scheduled dates,
times, locations, and addresses for the public scoping meetings are
concurrently being published in local media.
Adriane Paris,
Acting Air Force Federal Register Liaison Officer.
[FR Doc. 2019-22512 Filed 10-15-19; 8:45 am]