[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 239 (Tuesday, December 13, 2011)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 77383-77386]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-31847]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 71

[Docket No. FAA-2011-0527; Airspace Docket No. 11-AWA-2]


Amendment of Class C Airspace; Palm Beach International Airport, 
FL

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

[[Page 77384]]


ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: This action modifies the Palm Beach International Airport, FL, 
Class C airspace area by raising the floor of Class C airspace over 
Palm Beach County Park Airport. The FAA is taking this action to 
enhance safety and increase the efficiency of air traffic operations in 
the Palm Beach, FL, terminal area.

DATES: Effective Date: 0901 UTC, February 9, 2012. The Director of the 
Federal Register approves this incorporation by reference action under 
1 CFR part 51, subject to the annual revision of FAA Order 7400.9 and 
publication of conforming amendments.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Paul Gallant, Airspace, Regulations 
and ATC Procedures Group, Office of Airspace Services, Federal Aviation 
Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20591; 
telephone: (202) 267-8783.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

History

    On June 21, 2011, the FAA published in the Federal Register a 
notice of proposed rulemaking to modify the Palm Beach, FL, Class C 
airspace area (76 FR 36014). Interested parties were invited to 
participate in this rulemaking effort by submitting written comments on 
the proposal. Five comments were received.

Discussion of Comments

    Two commenters wrote in support of the proposal. Three commenters 
suggested a larger expansion of the 1,600-foot mean sea level (MSL) 
cutout area in the vicinity of Palm Beach County Park Airport (LNA) 
than was proposed in the NPRM. The commenters said that further 
expanding the cutout would benefit LNA traffic that primarily arrives 
from, or departs to, the west and east of the airport. The commenters 
believed that this would also allow more room for transient traffic not 
under the control of Palm Beach Approach to maneuver, provide better 
transit to the practice areas to the west and permit straight-out 
departures from LNA for aircraft headed eastbound to the Bahama 
Islands. The FAA considered these suggestions but determined that 
expanding the cutout as requested is not possible due to the impact on 
Palm Beach International Airport (PBI) traffic flows and the provision 
of Class C services. Procedures for departures from PBI runways 10L/R 
include dispersing aircraft headings for separation and to expedite 
departures. Turboprop and prop departures climb to 1,500 feet to allow 
the faster climbing jets to climb above. The dispersal headings vary 
from 030 to 160 degrees and the southern most heading would exit Class 
C airspace if the cutout was expanded. Additionally, accommodating PBI 
arrivals to runways 28L/R (especially the shorter general aviation 
runway) requires aircraft to basically line up with runway 32 (modified 
base leg). These aircraft are vectored at 1,500 feet to allow a better 
chance of seeing the airport while allowing vertical separation from 
Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) traffic to runway 28L/R. PBI runway 32 
allows for relief from runway 28L/R finals during busy periods. Runway 
32 aircraft must be afforded Class C services while being vectored and 
descending on final. PBI runway 14 departures are capped at 1,500 feet 
to allow for crossing downwind runway 10R Visual Flight Rules traffic 
at 2,000 feet and IFR aircraft at 3,000 feet. These departures also 
require Class C services as they depart and start their climbs to 
higher altitudes. Most aircraft departing LNA that are headed 
northbound contact Palm Beach Approach for approval. When PBI is 
landing/departing runways 10L/R and 14, the LNA departures are afforded 
the opportunity to stay just east of the shoreline at 500 feet, fly one 
mile off shore at 1,000 feet, or proceed overhead PBI at 2,000 feet. 
They are also allowed to proceed west of PBI, depending on traffic. 
When PBI is departing west (runways 28L/R and 32) aircraft are offered 
overhead or following the intracoastal waterway at 2,000 feet to top 
the arrivals into PBI. Regarding aircraft headed to the Bahama Islands, 
most aircraft call Palm Beach Approach for advisories/flight following 
due to the Atlantic Ocean crossing. These aircraft are rarely 
restricted unless traffic becomes a factor. However, the ability to 
turn/level off these aircraft affords Air Traffic Control the ability 
to climb above them. Expanding the 1,600-foot cutout would reduce the 
availability of Class C airspace and adversely affect the operations 
discussed above.

The Rule

    This action amends Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) 
part 71 by raising the floor of Class C airspace from 1,200 feet to 
1,600 feet MSL within an area overlying, and to the south of, Palm 
Beach County Park Airport (see attached chart). Raising the Class C 
floor to 1,600 feet MSL enhances safety by providing additional 
clearance between rotorcraft and fixed-wing aircraft entering the 
traffic pattern at Palm Beach County Park Airport. This allows fixed-
wing aircraft entering the traffic pattern to safely overfly the 
existing helicopter patterns and also allows Palm Beach County Park 
Airport helicopter training activities to take place at higher 
altitudes.
    In addition, a minor correction is made to the latitude/longitude 
coordinates of Palm Beach County Park Airport to reflect the current 
information in FAA's aeronautical database.
    Class C airspace areas are published in paragraph 4000 of FAA Order 
7400.9V, dated August 9, 2011 and effective September 15, 2011, which 
is incorporated by reference in 14 CFR 71.1. The Class C airspace area 
amendment in this document will be published subsequently in the Order.
    The FAA has determined that this regulation only involves an 
established body of technical regulations for which frequent and 
routine amendments are necessary to keep them operationally current. 
Therefore, this regulation: (1) Is not a ``significant regulatory 
action'' under Executive Order 12866; (2) is not a ``significant rule'' 
under Department of Transportation (DOT) Regulatory Policies and 
Procedures (44 FR 11034; February 26, 1979); and (3) does not warrant 
preparation of a regulatory evaluation as the anticipated impact is so 
minimal. Since this is a routine matter that will only affect air 
traffic procedures and air navigation, it is certified that this rule, 
when promulgated, will not have a significant economic impact on a 
substantial number of small entities under the criteria of the 
Regulatory Flexibility Act.
    The FAA's authority to issue rules regarding aviation safety is 
found in Title 49 of the United States Code. Subtitle I, Section 106 
describes the authority of the FAA Administrator. Subtitle VII, 
Aviation Programs, describes in more detail the scope of the agency's 
authority.
    This rulemaking is promulgated under the authority described in 
Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart I, Section 40103. Under that section, the 
FAA is charged with prescribing regulations to assign the use of the 
airspace necessary to ensure the safety of aircraft and the efficient 
use of airspace. This regulation is within the scope of that authority 
as it amends a portion of the terminal airspace structure to enhance 
the safety of aircraft operating in the vicinity of Palm Beach, FL.

Environmental Review

    The FAA has determined that this action qualifies for categorical 
exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act in accordance 
with FAA Order 1050.1E, ``Environmental

[[Page 77385]]

Impacts: Policies and Procedures,'' paragraph 311a. This airspace 
action is not expected to cause any potentially significant 
environmental impacts, and no extraordinary circumstances exist that 
warrant preparation of an environmental assessment.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 71

    Airspace, Incorporation by reference, Navigation (air).

Adoption of the Amendment

    In consideration of the foregoing, the Federal Aviation 
Administration amends 14 CFR part 71 as follows:

PART 71--DESIGNATION OF CLASS A, B, C, D, AND E AIRSPACE AREAS; AIR 
TRAFFIC SERVICE ROUTES; AND REPORTING POINTS

0
1. The authority citation for part 71 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40103, 40113, 40120; E.O. 10854, 
24 FR 9565, 3 CFR, 1959-1963 Comp., p.389.


Sec.  71.1  [Amended]

0
2. The incorporation by reference in 14 CFR 71.1 of FAA Order 7400.9V, 
Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 9, 2011 and 
effective September 15, 2011, is amended as follows:

Paragraph 4000 Class C Airspace

* * * * *

ASO FL C Palm Beach International Airport, FL [Amended]

Palm Beach International Airport, FL
    (Lat. 26[deg]40'59'' N., long. 80[deg]05'44'' W.)
Palm Beach County Park Airport
    (Lat. 26[deg]35'35'' N., long. 80[deg]05'06'' W.)

Boundaries

    Area A. That airspace extending upward from the surface to and 
including 4,000 feet MSL within a 5-mile radius of the Palm Beach 
International Airport, excluding that airspace within a 2-mile 
radius of the Palm Beach County Park Airport.
    Area B. That airspace extending upward from 1,600 feet MSL to 
and including 4,000 feet MSL within an area bounded on the north by 
a line direct from the intersection of the Florida Turnpike (highway 
91) and Lantana Road to the intersection of a 5-mile radius of the 
Palm Beach International Airport and a 2-mile radius west of the 
Palm Beach County Park Airport and a 2-mile radius north of the Palm 
Beach County Park Airport, on the east by a line direct from the 
intersection of a 5-mile radius of the Palm Beach International 
Airport and a 2-mile radius east of the Palm Beach County Park 
Airport to the intersection of a 10-mile radius of the Palm Beach 
International Airport and US 1, on the south by a 10-mile radius of 
the Palm Beach International Airport, and on the west by the Florida 
Turnpike.
    Area C. That airspace extending upward from 1,200 feet MSL to 
and including 4,000 feet MSL within a 10-mile radius of the Palm 
Beach International Airport, excluding Area B.


    Issued in Washington, DC, on December 5, 2011.
Gary A. Norek,
Acting Manager, Airspace, Regulations and ATC Procedures Group.
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[FR Doc. 2011-31847 Filed 12-12-11; 8:45 am]
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