[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 121 (Friday, June 22, 2012)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 37569-37570]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-15279]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 71

[Docket No. FAA-2012-0217; Airspace Docket No. 12-AEA-2]


Establishment of Class D Airspace and Amendment of Class E 
Airspace; East Hampton, NY

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: This action establishes Class D airspace and amends existing 
Class E airspace at East Hampton, NY, to accommodate the new mobile 
airport traffic control tower (ATCT) at East Hampton Airport. 
Controlled airspace enhances the safety and management of Instrument 
Flight Rules (IFR) operations at the airport. This action also updates 
the geographic coordinates of the airport's existing Class E airspace 
and eliminates Class E extensions that are no longer required.

DATES: Effective 0901 UTC, July 26, 2012. The Director of the Federal 
Register approves this incorporation by reference action under title 1, 
Code of Federal Regulations, part 51, subject to the annual revision of 
FAA Order 7400.9 and publication of conforming amendments

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: John Fornito, Operations Support 
Group, Eastern Service Center, Federal Aviation Administration, P.O. 
Box 20636, Atlanta, Georgia 30320; telephone (404) 305-6364.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

History

    On March 15, 2012, the FAA published in the Federal Register a 
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to establish Class D and E 
airspace and amend existing Class E airspace at East Hampton, NY, to 
accommodate a new air traffic control tower at East Hampton Airport (77 
FR 15297). Interested parties were invited to participate in this 
rulemaking effort by submitting written comments on the proposal to the 
FAA. Two positive comments were received in support of the airspace. 
One negative comment letter was received.
    One positive response was received from the Town of East Hampton. 
The other positive commenter, the East Hampton Aviation Association, 
observed that establishment of Class D airspace would provide greater 
safety to IFR operations during bad weather conditions. The FAA agrees 
with this observation.
    The negative response comment was received from the Eastern Region 
Helicopter Council, Inc. (ERHC). ERHC made several observations in its 
comment letter. The FAA does not agree with this commenter's 
observations or conclusion. Each of the commenter's observations are 
outlined and addressed below.
    The ERHC observed that the purpose of Class D airspace is to 
protect IFR operations; that the East Hampton tower will not have radar 
capabilities; that the tower will not have the authority to require 
helicopters to fly specific arrival/departure flight paths; and that 
most helicopter operations already comply with the voluntary noise 
abatement procedures; therefore, the commenter concludes that the 
airspace changes are not needed.
    The FAA does not agree. The protection provided by Class D airspace 
to IFR operations is not based on the tower's ability to use radar to 
provide separation. Rather, the airspace establishes higher weather 
minima for VFR flights, thus restricting access of VFR flights to the 
airspace while IFR operations are in progress.
    The ERHC commented that an unintended consequence of establishing 
Class D airspace would be increased noise impact from helicopters that 
are forced to wait outside the Class D airspace during adverse weather 
conditions.
    While the FAA agrees that one-at-a-time Special VFR operations may 
have the potential for creating adverse effects, separation rules for 
Special VFR operations in Class D airspace allow for multiple 
helicopters to operate in Class D airspace at the same time, as long as 
they operate at a safe distance from IFR operations. Use of these rules 
requires the helicopter operators to enter into a Letter of Agreement 
(LOA) with the FAA. Use of these rules will allow the helicopter 
operators to minimize any delays they may experience due to the 
airspace, as well as provide a higher level of safety to all operations 
in adverse weather conditions.
    The ERHC observed that one purpose of establishing a tower at East 
Hampton Airport is for helicopter noise mitigation purposes.
    The FAA does not agree. The purpose of control towers and Class D 
airspace is the safe and efficient use of airspace. Class D airspace 
provides controlled airspace to contain IFR arrival and departure 
operations. Further, Class D enhances safety by setting VFR weather 
minima specified in 14 CFR Sec.  91.155 and the communications and 
other operating requirements in 14 CFR 91.129.
    The Proposed Rule included a Class E surface area to be in effect 
when the control tower is closed. One prerequisite for the 
establishment of controlled airspace at the surface of an airport is 
the availability of hourly and special weather observations. Currently 
this prerequisite is only met during the dates and times when the tower 
will be operating. Therefore, the Class E surface area has been removed 
from this rule action.
    The current Class E5 Airspace Areas Extending Upward from 700 feet 
or More Above the Surface of the Earth (E5) includes two extensions for 
the support of IFR approach procedures. The approaches published for 
East Hampton Airport have been modified since this airspace was 
established and these extensions are no longer required for safe IFR 
operations. Therefore, they are being removed as part of the rule.
    Class D and E airspace designations are published in Paragraphs 
5000 and 6005, respectively, 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 D and E airspace designations listed in this 
document will be published subsequently in the Order.

The Rule

    This amendment to Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) 
part 71 establishes Class D airspace extending upward from the surface 
to and including 2,500 feet MSL within a 4.8-mile radius of East 
Hampton Airport, East Hampton, NY. Controlled airspace supports the new 
airport traffic control tower for continued safety and management of 
IFR operations at East Hampton Airport. This action also amends Class E 
airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface within a 7.3-
mile radius of the airport. The geographic coordinates of the airport 
are adjusted to be in concert with the FAA's current aeronautical 
database.
    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''

[[Page 37570]]

under Executive Order 12866; (2) is not a ``significant rule'' under 
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 
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 establishes and amends controlled airspace at East Hampton 
Airport, East Hampton, NY.

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 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.

Lists 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 Federal Aviation 
Administration Order 7400.9V, Airspace Designations and Reporting 
Points, dated August 9, 2011, and effective September 15, 2011, is 
amended as follows:

Paragraph 5000 Class D airspace.

* * * * *

AEA NY D East Hampton, NY [NEW]

East Hampton Airport, NY
    (Lat. 40[deg]57'34'' N., long. 72[deg]15'06'' W.)

    That airspace extending upward from the surface up to and 
including 2,500 feet MSL within a 4.8-mile radius of East Hampton 
Airport. This Class D airspace area is effective during specific 
dates and times established in advance by a Notice to Airmen. The 
effective date and time will thereafter be continuously published in 
the Airport/Facility Directory.

Paragraph 6005 Class E airspace areas extending upward from 700 
feet or more above the surface of the earth.

* * * * *

AEA NY E5 East Hampton, NY [AMENDED]

East Hampton Airport, NY
    (Lat. 40[deg]57'34'' N., long. 72[deg]15'06'' W.)

    That airspace extending upward from 700 feet above the surface 
within a 7.3-mile radius of East Hampton Airport.

    Issued in College Park, Georgia, on June 14, 2012.
Barry A. Knight,
Manager, Operations Support Group, Eastern Service Center, Air Traffic 
Organization.
[FR Doc. 2012-15279 Filed 6-21-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P