AOPA expresses concerns about new UAS training area

ND airspace plan raises questions, concerns

By Dan Namowitz

A proposal to create new restricted airspace in North Dakota for training of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS)raises more questions than it answers, undermines safety, and would set a dangerous precedent in creating additional restricted airspace for use solely by UAS, AOPA said, urging members to comment on the proposal by Feb. 12.

On Nov. 28, the FAA published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) that would create restricted airspace for training UASs within and beyond the boundaries of the existing Devil’s Lake Military Operations Area. The NPRM said the restricted areas were needed to permit “realistic training” in modern tactics.

“In order to fully exploit the capabilities of today’s UAS aircraft and provide the essential training that replicates the conditions that are encountered during wartime deployments today, it is necessary to expand the restricted airspace around Camp Grafton Range,” it said.

The UASs would be launched from the Grand Forks, N.D., Air Force Base. Recovery operations would also be staged there.

http://www.aopa.org/advocacy/articles/2012/120110nd-airspace-plan-raises-questions-concerns.html