[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 90 (Thursday, May 9, 2013)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 27025-27029]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-10811]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 71

[Docket No. FAA-2012-0662; Airspace Docket No. 08-AWA-2]
RIN 2120-AA66


Modification of Class B Airspace; Philadelphia, PA

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: This action modifies the Philadelphia, PA, Class B airspace 
area to ensure the containment of large turbine-powered aircraft within 
Class B airspace, reduce controller workload, and reduce the potential 
for midair collision in the Philadelphia terminal area.

DATES: Effective Date: 0901 UTC, July 25, 2013. 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 Policy 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

    The FAA published in the Federal Register a notice of proposed 
rulemaking (NPRM) to modify the Philadelphia, PA, Class B airspace area 
(77 FR 45290, July 31, 2012). Interested parties were invited to 
participate in this rulemaking effort by submitting written comments on 
the proposal. Three comments were received in response to the NPRM. The 
FAA considered all comments received before making a determination on 
this final rule.

Discussion of Comments

    All three commenters expressed concern over the effect of expanding 
the PHL Class B to the east and southeast. One commenter was concerned 
by the possible effect on a busy VFR flyway, and by the funnel effect 
of having only 1000 feet vertically between the modified Class B and 
Alert Area A-220. Another commenter was concerned that more complicated 
airspace, combined with a bad economy and the high cost of flight 
training, would discourage

[[Page 27026]]

student pilots from completing their training. The third commenter 
suggested that enough lateral space be provided between the edge of 
Alert Area A-220 and the PHL Class B boundary to allow the two-way VFR 
flyway to continue.
    The FAA agrees that the airspace east of PHL is congested and used 
for many varying aviation activities, and it shares the desire to 
design the airspace to minimize the possibility of incidents. However, 
the suggestion to leave room for a VFR flyway between A-220 and the 
Class B would leave the airspace boundary essentially where it is 
today. The current corridor is only 4 miles wide. Providing a VFR 
flyway as requested would preclude expanding the Class B airspace in an 
area needed so that PHL can properly contain arrivals on the downwind 
or final approach. Raising the Class B floor to make additional 
altitudes available for VFR flight is also not a viable option. PHL 
arrivals on the base leg outside 20 NM from the airport will be at, or 
descending to, 4,000 feet, making a 4,000 foot Class B airspace floor 
necessary in that area to achieve the containment of aircraft.
    Mixing PHL arrivals and VFR aircraft outside the Class B presents a 
hazard to safety, which must be addressed. We believe that the Class B 
design in this rule provides the minimum airspace required for 
containment while leaving as much airspace as possible for VFR flight 
outside the Class B.
    The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) expressed concern 
that the number of cutouts and varying floor heights, combined with a 
lack of VFR landmarks, results in a complex design which VFR pilots 
will find confusing, and may result in airspace violations, especially 
near PNE and ILG.
    The FAA does not agree. The multiple Class B subareas on final 
approach to runways 9 and 27 at PHL are designed to afford VFR flights, 
electing to fly beneath the Class B, the maximum amount of altitude 
while keeping them separated from airspace and altitudes used by IFR 
arrivals to PHL. To reduce the number of subareas or varying Class B 
floors, it would be necessary to combine subareas and use the lower 
floor for the entire subarea. This would cause the designation of more 
Class B airspace than is required for containment and further limit 
airspace available for VFR use. There are a number of references that 
can be used to assist VFR pilot navigation. Seven VOR facilities 
basically encircle the PHL Class B airspace area and can be used to 
assist in orientation to circumnavigate the area. There are also 
various landmarks such as Interstate I-295, I-95/New Jersey Turnpike, 
charted airports and charted VFR checkpoints. VFR aircraft can navigate 
below, above, around, or request ATC clearance to proceed through, the 
Class B airspace area.
    The two new subareas (F and H) to the east and west of PHL evolved 
from the elimination of the 24-NM outer ring around the majority of the 
Class B airspace area that was being considered by the FAA in the early 
stages of the PHL Class B design modification. As discussed in the 
NPRM, input from the ad hoc committee and informal airspace meetings 
requested that the 24-NM ring be eliminated. The FAA reevaluated the 
need for the expansion of the Class B to 24-NM and decided to limit the 
expansion to 24-NM only to the east and west of PHL in order to 
encompass the extended finals to the primary runways. These extensions 
are required to contain the high volume of turbine-powered aircraft 
landing at PHL while still allowing adequate room for VFR aircraft to 
circumnavigate the PHL Class B airspace.

The Rule

    The FAA is amending Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 
CFR) part 71 to modify the Philadelphia, PA, Class B airspace area. 
This action (depicted on the attached chart) modifies the lateral and 
vertical limits (i.e., floors) of the Class B airspace area to ensure 
the containment of large turbine-powered aircraft once they enter the 
airspace, reduce frequency congestion and controller workload, and 
enhance safety in the Philadelphia terminal area. The ceiling of the 
Philadelphia Class B airspace area remains at 7,000 feet MSL. Mileages 
are in nautical miles and, unless otherwise noted, are based on a 
radius from the PHL airport reference point (ARP) (lat. 39[deg]52'20'' 
N., long. 75[deg]14'27'' W.). The modifications of the Philadelphia 
Class B airspace area, by subarea, are outlined below.
    Area A. This area, extending upward from the surface to 7,000 feet 
MSL, is expanded from the current 6-mile radius to an 8-mile radius. A 
cutout is incorporated in the northeast quadrant of Area A to 
accommodate helicopter operations.
    Area B. There are no changes to Area B, which extends from 300 feet 
MSL to 7,000 feet MSL.
    Area C. This area, which extends from 600 feet MSL to 7,000 feet 
MSL, remains largely unchanged except that its boundaries are extended 
outward to meet the new 8-mile radius of Area A.
    Area D. This area extends from 1,500 feet to 7,000 feet between the 
8-mile and 11-mile rings around PHL, and includes an extension out to 
15 miles to the east of PHL.
    Area E. Area E extends from 2,000 feet MSL to 7,000 feet MSL 
between the 11-mile and 15-mile rings from PHL with a cutout around 
17N. This rule lowers the Class B airspace floor in this area from 
3,000 feet MSL to 2,000 feet MSL.
    Area F. Area F consists of two sections between the 15-mile and 20-
mile rings. One section is west of PHL and the other to the east of 
PHL. These sections both extend from 3,000 feet MSL to 7,000 feet MSL. 
The Area F section located to the east of PHL is new Class B airspace. 
The purpose of Area F is to contain arrivals to the primary runways at 
PHL.
    Area G. This area extends from 3,500 feet MSL to 7,000 feet MSL. It 
generally lies between the 15-mile and 20-mile rings, excluding the 
airspace in Areas F and H. The current Class B floor in most of that 
area is 4,000 feet MSL. Area G also creates new Class B airspace out to 
20 miles to the east and south of PHL with a cutout to accommodate 
operations at 17N.
    Area H. This area consists of two sections, extending from 4,000 
feet MSL to 7,000 feet MSL, between the 20-mile and 24-mile rings, one 
to the east and one to the west of PHL. Area H is new Class B airspace. 
Its purpose is to contain arrivals to the primary runways at PHL.

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.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3507(d)) requires 
that the FAA consider the impact of paperwork and other information 
collection burdens imposed on the public. We have determined that there 
is no new information collection requirement associated with this rule.

Regulatory Evaluation Summary

    Changes to federal regulations must undergo several economic 
analyses. First, Executive Order 12866 and Executive Order 13563 direct 
that each Federal agency shall propose or adopt a regulation only upon 
a reasoned

[[Page 27027]]

determination that the benefits of the intended regulation justify its 
costs. Second, the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (Pub. L. 96-354) 
requires agencies to analyze the economic impact of regulatory changes 
on small entities. Third, the Trade Agreements Act (Pub. L. 96-39) 
prohibits agencies from setting standards that create unnecessary 
obstacles to the foreign commerce of the United States. In developing 
U.S. standards, the Trade Act requires agencies to consider 
international standards and, where appropriate, that they be the basis 
of U.S. standards. Fourth, the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 
(Pub. L. 104-4) requires agencies to prepare a written assessment of 
the costs, benefits, and other effects of proposed or final rules that 
include a Federal mandate likely to result in the expenditure by State, 
local, or tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private 
sector, of $100 million or more annually (adjusted for inflation with 
base year of 1995). This portion of the preamble summarizes the FAA's 
analysis of the economic impacts of this final rule.
    Department of Transportation Order DOT 2100.5 prescribes policies 
and procedures for simplification, analysis, and review of regulations. 
If the expected cost impact is so minimal that a final rule does not 
warrant a full evaluation, this order permits that a statement to that 
effect and the basis for it be included in the preamble if a full 
regulatory evaluation of the cost and benefits is not prepared. Such a 
determination has been made for this final rule. The reasoning for this 
determination follows:
    In conducting these analyses, the FAA has determined that this 
final rule:
    (1) Imposes minimal incremental costs and provides benefits,
    (2) Is not an economically ``significant regulatory action'' as 
defined in section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866,
    (3) Is not significant as defined in DOT's Regulatory Policies and 
Procedures;
    (4) Will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial 
number of small entities;
    (5) Will not have a significant effect on international trade; and
    (6) Will not impose an unfunded mandate on state, local, or tribal 
governments, or on the private sector by exceeding the monetary 
threshold identified.
    These analyses are summarized below.
The Proposed Action
    The action proposed in the NPRM, was to modify the Philadelphia, 
PA, Class B airspace area to ensure the containment of large turbine-
powered aircraft within Class B airspace, reduce controller workload, 
and reduce the potential for midair collision in the Philadelphia 
terminal area.
Benefits of the Proposed Action
    As discussed in the NPRM, this action would enhance safety, improve 
the flow of air traffic, and reduce the potential for midair collisions 
in the PHL terminal area. In addition this action will support the 
FAA's national airspace redesign goal of optimizing terminal and 
enroute airspace areas to reduce aircraft delays and improve system 
capacity.
Costs of the Proposed Action
    As described in the NPRM, the costs included the costs of general 
aviation aircraft that might have to fly further if this action were 
adopted. However, the FAA believes that any such costs would be minimal 
because the FAA designed the air space to minimize the effect on 
aviation users who would not fly in the Class B airspace. In addition 
the FAA held a series of meetings to solicit comments from people who 
thought that they might be affected by the proposal. Wherever possible 
the FAA included the comments from these meetings in the proposal.
Expected Outcome of the Proposal
    The FAA received no comments on the FAA's requests for comments on 
the minimal cost determination. Therefore, the FAA has determined that 
this final rule is not a ``significant regulatory action ``as defined 
in Section 3(f) of Executive 12866, and is not ``significant'' as 
defined in DOT's Regulatory Policies and Procedures.

Final Regulatory Flexibility Determination

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (Pub. L. 96-354) (RFA) 
establishes ``as a principle of regulatory issuance that agencies shall 
endeavor, consistent with the objective of the rule and of applicable 
statutes, to fit regulatory and informational requirements to the scale 
of the business, organizations, and governmental jurisdictions subject 
to regulation.'' To achieve that principle, the RFA requires agencies 
to solicit and consider flexible regulatory proposals and to explain 
the rationale for their actions to assure that such proposals are given 
serious consideration. The RFA covers a wide-range of small entities, 
including small businesses, not-for-profit organizations and small 
governmental jurisdictions.
    Agencies must perform a review to determine whether a rule will 
have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities. If the agency determines that it will, the agency must 
prepare a regulatory flexibility analysis as described in the RFA.
    However, if an agency determines that a rule is not expected to 
have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities, section 605(b) of the RFA provides that the head of the 
agency may so certify and a regulatory flexibility analysis is not 
required. The certification must include a statement providing the 
factual basis for this determination, and the reasoning should be 
clear.
    In the Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis the FAA determined 
that the proposed rule would improve safety by redefining Class B 
airspace boundaries and was expected to impose only minimal costs on 
small entities and asked for comments.
    The FAA received no comments on small entity considerations.
    Therefore, the FAA Administrator certifies that this rule will not 
have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities.

International Trade Impact Assessment

    The Trade Agreements Act of 1979 (Pub. L. 96-39), as amended by the 
Uruguay Round Agreements Act (Pub. L. 103-465), prohibits Federal 
agencies from establishing standards or engaging in related activities 
that create unnecessary obstacles to the foreign commerce of the United 
States. Pursuant to these Acts, the establishment of standards is not 
considered an unnecessary obstacle to the foreign commerce of the 
United States, so long as the standard has a legitimate domestic 
objective, such as the protection of safety, and does not operate in a 
manner that excludes imports that meet this objective. The statute also 
requires consideration of international standards and, where 
appropriate, that they be the basis for U.S. standards.
    The FAA assessed the potential effect of this proposed rule in the 
NPRM and determined that it would have no effect on international 
trade. The FAA received no comments on this determination.
    Therefore, the FAA has determined that this final rule will have no 
impact on international trade.

Unfunded Mandates Assessment

    Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-
4) requires each Federal agency to prepare a written statement 
assessing the effects of any Federal mandate in a proposed or

[[Page 27028]]

final agency rule that may result in an expenditure of $100 million or 
more (in 1995 dollars) in any one year by State, local, and tribal 
governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector; such a mandate 
is deemed to be a ``significant regulatory action.'' The FAA currently 
uses an inflation-adjusted value of $143.1 million in lieu of $100 
million. This final rule does not contain such a mandate; therefore, 
the requirements of Title II of the Act do not apply.

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 the Federal 
Aviation Administration Order 7400.9W, Airspace Designations and 
Reporting Points, dated August 8, 2012, and effective September 15, 
2012, is amended as follows:

Paragraph 3000 Subpart B--Class B Airspace.

* * * * *

AEA PA B Philadelphia, PA [Revised]

Philadelphia International Airport, PA (Primary Airport)
    (Lat. 39[deg]52'20'' N., long. 75[deg]14'27'' W.)
Northeast Philadelphia Airport, PA
    (Lat. 40[deg]04'55'' N., long. 75[deg]00'38'' W.)
Cross Keys Airport, NJ
    (Lat. 39[deg]42'20'' N., long. 75[deg]01'59'' W.)

Boundaries

    Area A. That airspace extending upward from the surface to and 
including 7,000 feet MSL within an 8-mile radius of the Philadelphia 
International Airport (PHL), excluding that airspace bounded by a 
line beginning at the intersection of the PHL 8-mile radius and the 
002[deg] bearing from PHL, thence direct to lat. 39[deg]56'14'' N., 
long. 75[deg]12'11'' W., thence direct to lat. 39[deg]55'40'' N., 
long. 75[deg]08'31'' W., thence direct to the intersection of the 
PHL 8-mile radius and the 061[deg] bearing from PHL, and that 
airspace within and underlying Areas B and C hereinafter described.
    Area B. That airspace extending upward from 300 feet MSL to and 
including 7,000 feet MSL, beginning at the east tip of Tinicum 
Island, thence along the south shore of Tinicum Island to the 
westernmost point, thence direct to the outlet of Darby Creek at the 
north shore of the Delaware River, thence along the north shore of 
the river to Chester Creek, thence direct to Thompson Point, thence 
along the south shore of the Delaware River to Bramell Point, thence 
direct to the point of beginning.
    Area C. That airspace extending upward from 600 feet MSL to and 
including 7,000 feet MSL, beginning at Bramell Point, thence along 
the south shore of the Delaware River to Thompson Point, thence 
direct to the outlet of Chester Creek at the Delaware River, thence 
along the north shore of the Delaware River to the 8-mile radius of 
PHL, thence counterclockwise along the 8-mile radius to the 180[deg] 
bearing from PHL, thence direct to Bramell Point.
    Area D. That airspace extending upward from 1,500 feet MSL to 
and including 7,000 feet MSL within an 11-mile radius of PHL; and 
that airspace within 7.5 miles north and south of the Runway 27R 
localizer course extending from the 11-mile radius to the 15-mile 
radius east of PHL; excluding that airspace within a 5.8-mile radius 
of North Philadelphia Airport (PNE), and Areas A, B, and C.
    Area E. That airspace extending upward from 2,000 feet MSL to 
and including 7,000 feet MSL within a 15-mile radius of PHL, 
excluding that airspace within a 5.8-mile radius of PNE, and that 
airspace bounded by a line beginning at the intersection of the PHL 
15-mile radius and the 141[deg] bearing from PHL, thence direct to 
the intersection of the Cross Keys Airport (17N) 1.5-mile radius and 
the 212[deg] bearing from 17N, thence clockwise via the 1.5-mile 
radius of 17N to the 257[deg] bearing from 17N, thence direct to the 
intersection of the 17N 1.5-mile radius and the 341[deg] bearing 
from 17N, thence clockwise via the 1.5-mile radius of 17N to the 
011[deg] bearing from 17N, thence direct to the intersection of the 
PHL 15-mile radius and the 127[deg] bearing from PHL, and Areas A, 
B, C, and D.
    Area F. That airspace extending upward from 3,000 feet MSL to 
and including 7,000 feet MSL within 7.5 miles north and south of the 
Runway 9R localizer course extending from the 15-mile radius west of 
PHL to the 20-mile radius west of PHL; and within 7.5 miles north 
and south of the Runway 27R localizer course extending from the 8-
mile radius east of PHL to the 20-mile radius east of PHL, excluding 
Area D.
    Area G. That airspace extending upward from 3,500 feet MSL to 
and including 7,000 feet MSL within a 20-mile radius of PHL, 
excluding that airspace south of a line beginning at the 
intersection of the PHL 20-mile radius and the 158[deg] bearing from 
PHL, thence direct to the intersection of the PHL 20-mile radius and 
the 136[deg] bearing from PHL, and that airspace bounded by a line 
beginning at the intersection of the PHL 20-mile radius and the 
136[deg] bearing from PHL, thence direct to the intersection of the 
PHL 15-mile radius and the 141[deg] bearing from PHL, thence direct 
to the intersection of the Cross Keys Airport (17N) 1.5-mile radius 
and the 212[deg] bearing from 17N, thence clockwise via the 1.5-mile 
radius of 17N to the 257[deg] bearing from 17N, thence direct to the 
intersection of the 17N 1.5-mile radius and the 341[deg] bearing 
from 17N, thence clockwise via the 1.5-mile radius of 17N to the 
011[deg] bearing from 17N, thence direct to the intersection of the 
PHL 15-mile radius and the 127[deg] bearing from PHL, thence direct 
to the intersection of the PHL 20-mile radius and the 120[deg] 
bearing from PHL, and Areas A, B, C, D, E and F.
    Area H. That airspace extending upward from 4,000 feet MSL to 
and including 7,000 feet MSL within 7.5 miles north and south of the 
Runway 9R localizer course extending from the 20-mile radius west of 
PHL to the 24-mile radius west of PHL; and within 7.5 miles north 
and south of the Runway 27R localizer course extending from the 20-
mile radius east of PHL to the 24-mile radius east of PHL.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on April 23, 2013.
Gary A. Norek,
Manager, Airspace Policy and ATC Procedures Group.
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