NPRM Submitted to Expanded Charlotte Class B Airspace

FAA proposal on Charlotte airspace now open for comments.

The FAA has submitted a notice of proposed rulemaking to expand the Class B airspace surrounding Charlotte/Douglas International Airport in Charlotte, North Carolina. Comments may be submitted to the FAA before May 3.

The expanded Class B airspace is needed for airline traffic using the airport and to accommodate area navigation (RNAV) departure procedures. A third parallel runway also requires an expansion of the protected airspace, according to the FAA. The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association has raised concerns over the airspace expansion, particularly in light of two airports that would fall under the Class B jurisdiction with the new dimensions. They include Chester Catawba Regional Airport, 25 nautical miles southwest of Charlotte/Douglas. Chester is an active skydiving facility and AOPA is concerned that the new airspace would impinge on operations there. Also, Lancaster County-McWhirter Field in Lancaster, North Carolina, is 25 nautical miles south of the international airport.

The AOPA expressed encouragement, "that the FAA has proposed some mitigation options that may alleviate the burden of the proposed changes … " at least in the case of the skydiving operations.