Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Moody Air Force Base Comprehensive Airspace Initiative, Georgia

 
CONTENT
Federal Register, Volume 84 Issue 230 (Friday, November 29, 2019)
[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 230 (Friday, November 29, 2019)]
[Notices]
[Pages 65790-65791]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-25885]
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DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE
 Department of the Air Force
Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for
the Moody Air Force Base Comprehensive Airspace Initiative, Georgia
AGENCY: Department of the Air Force, DOD.
ACTION: Notice of intent.
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SUMMARY: In accordance with 40 Code of Federal Regulations Section
1508.22, the United States Air Force (Air Force) is issuing this notice
of intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to assess
the potential environmental consequences associated with modifying
existing and creating new special use airspace (SUA) in the Moody
Airspace Complex to support the training missions at Moody Air Force
Base (AFB).
DATES: A public scoping meeting will be held at the University of
Georgia, Tifton Campus Conference Center, 15 R D C Road, Tifton,
Georgia 31794, on Thursday, December 5, 2019, 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
(local time). Although comments can be submitted to the Air Force any
time during the EIS process, scoping comments are requested by December
20, 2019, to ensure full consideration in the Draft EIS.
ADDRESSES: For questions regarding the Proposed Action, scoping, and
EIS development, please contact the Moody AFB Public Affairs Office at
(229) 257-4146 or at [email protected]. The public and interested
parties can submit their comments through the project website at
www.moodyafbairspaceeis.com; mail comments to AFCEC/CZN, Attn: Moody
AFB Comprehensive Airspace Initiative, 2261 Hughes Avenue, Suite 155,
JBSA Lackland, TX 78236-9853; FedEx and UPS deliveries to AFCEC/CZN,
Attn: Moody AFB Comprehensive Airspace Initiative; 3515 S General
McMullen, San Antonio, TX 78226-9853; and/or attend the public scoping
meeting.
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Moody Airspace Complex, located above 28
counties in south Georgia and north Florida, consists primarily of mid-
to higher-altitude (8,000 feet above mean sea level [MSL] to FL180
[18,000 feet]) SUA with limited low-altitude SUA (less than 8,000 feet
MSL). A-10C, A-29, HH-60G, and HC-130J aircrews assigned to Moody Air
Force Base (AFB), Georgia, have severely constrained access to few
existing, overly congested low-altitude SUAs wherein they can conduct
required training operations at low-altitude to gain operational
proficiency and meet their low-altitude close air support (CAS),
personnel recovery (PR), and combat search and rescue (CSAR) mission
objectives for combat readiness. Providing additional low-altitude
Moody AFB-controlled SUA would support the low-altitude training
missions (CSAR, PR, CAS) for aircrews stationed at Moody AFB to ensure
aircrew protection, readiness, and increase aircrew lethality in
addition to survivability in real-world combat situations.
    The Air Force has preliminarily identified three action
alternatives to
[[Page 65791]]
expand low-altitude training airspace at Moody AFB as meeting the
purpose of and need for this Proposed Action, and a No Action
Alternative. The three action alternatives would create new low-
altitude Military Operations Areas (MOAs) beneath and within the
lateral confines of existing MOAs and Restricted Areas of the Moody
Airspace Complex. While the three alternatives are independent of each
other, the decision maker may choose to implement one, a combination of
low-altitude MOAs from among the three, or none of the alternatives
based on the analysis provided in the EIS. Alternative 1 would create
the Corsair North Low, Corsair South Low, Mustang Low, and Warhawk Low
MOAs with a floor of 1,000 feet AGL and a ceiling of 7,999 feet MSL;
create a Thud Low MOA with a floor of 4,000 feet AGL and a ceiling of
7,999 feet MSL; a Grand Bay MOA with a floor of 100 feet AGL and a
ceiling of 499 feet AGL; and lower the floor of the existing Moody 2
North MOA from 500 feet AGL to 100 feet AGL. Alternative 2 would create
and modify MOAs as described under Alternative 1, except that the new
Corsair North Low, Corsair South Low, Mustang Low, and Warhawk Low MOAs
would be created with a floor of 2,000 feet AGL instead of 1,000 feet
AGL. Alternative 3 would create and modify MOAs as described under
Alternative 1, except that the new Corsair North Low, Corsair South
Low, Mustang Low, and Warhawk Low MOAs would be created with a floor of
4,000 feet AGL instead of 1,000 feet AGL.
    Training within the new low MOAs would include the use of chaff and
flares, with flare use limited to altitudes above 2,000 feet AGL and no
use of chaff allowed in the Corsair North Low MOA. Urban Close Air
Support, helicopter landing zones, drop zones, and the use of training
ordnance at the Grand Bay Range would continue unchanged under all
three alternatives. The Proposed Action would not change the number of
sorties at Moody AFB airfield or the number of aircraft operations in
the Moody Airspace Complex.
    Under the No Action Alternative, there would be no addition of low-
altitude SUA at Moody Airspace Complex. As such, aircrews at Moody AFB
would either continue to conduct limited training operations within
existing low-altitude MOAs or continue the time- and cost-intensive
practice of scheduling and traveling to distant low-altitude airspace
complexes within the region where their ability to actually train
within scheduled airspaces could be denied. Under the No Action
Alternative, the current airspace constraints would continue and would
not provide for realistic training within SUAs associated with Moody
AFB. The analysis of the No Action Alternative will provide a benchmark
to enable Air Force decision makers to compare the magnitude of the
environmental effects of the Proposed Action.
    Scoping and Agency Coordination: To effectively define the full
range of issues and alternatives to be evaluated in the EIS, the Air
Force will determine the scope of the analysis by soliciting comments
from interested local, state, and federal elected officials and
agencies, as well as interested members of the public and others. The
Air Force will also pursue government-to-government consultations with
interested Native American tribes.
Adriane Paris,
Acting Air Force Federal Register Liaison Officer.
[FR Doc. 2019-25885 Filed 11-27-19; 8:45 am]
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