FAA Postpones Airspace Rule After Backlash

New rule delayed for at least 30 days.

Portland International Airport
Portland International Airport
Portland International Airport

The FAA has decided to postpone the implementation of a new airspace rule in the area near Portland, Oregon, after news of the change triggered a strong backlash from general aviation pilots and local officials at Pearson Field Airport.

The new airspace rule – which attempts to reduce congestion surrounding Portland International Airport (PDX) by limiting the number of aircraft that can pass through a certain section of nearby airspace – was slated to go into effect Oct. 1, but will now be delayed for at least 30 days as FAA officials seek additional feedback on the new policy.

Opponents to the change say it is not warranted and that it would unnecessarily restrict traffic to historic Pearson Field, the historic non-towered airfield located just across the state line in Vancouver, Washington.

Pilots also say it would raise new safety issues, as GA aircraft would be forced to circle at low altitude while awaiting their turn to enter the area of restricted airspace.

When announcing the rule, FAA officials maintained the change was the only option short of building a tower at Pearson Field that would reduce the risk of wake turbulence and traffic congestion in the area.