[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 132 (Thursday, July 10, 2014)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 39344-39346]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-16059]


========================================================================
Proposed Rules
                                                Federal Register
________________________________________________________________________

This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains notices to the public of 
the proposed issuance of rules and regulations. The purpose of these 
notices is to give interested persons an opportunity to participate in 
the rule making prior to the adoption of the final rules.

========================================================================


Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 132 / Thursday, July 10, 2014 / 
Proposed Rules

[[Page 39344]]



DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 73

[Docket No. FAA-2014-0370; Airspace Docket No. 14-ASO-2]
RIN 2120-AA66


Proposed Redesignation and Expansion of Restricted Area R-4403; 
Gainesville, MS

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: This action proposes to remove restricted area R-4403 
Gainesville, MS, and replace it with an expanded area that would be 
redesignated as R-4403A, B, C, D, E and F, Stennis Space Center, MS. 
The expanded restricted airspace would be used to support mission 
requirements of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration 
(NASA) and the Naval Special Warfare Command (NSWC).

DATES: Comments must be received on or before August 25, 2014.

ADDRESSES: Send comments on this proposal to the U.S. Department of 
Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., 
West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590-0001; 
telephone: (202) 366-9826. You must identify FAA Docket No. FAA-2014-
0370 and Airspace Docket No. 14-ASO-2, at the beginning of your 
comments. You may also submit comments through the Internet at 
www.regulations.gov. Comments on environmental and land use aspects 
should be directed to: David Lorance, P.E., Center Operations 
Directorate, Roy S. Estess Building 1100, Mail Code RA02, Stennis Space 
Center, MS 39529-6000.

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

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Comments Invited

    Interested parties are invited to participate in this proposed 
rulemaking by submitting such written data, views, or arguments as they 
may desire. Comments that provide the factual basis supporting the 
views and suggestions presented are particularly helpful in developing 
reasoned regulatory decisions on the proposal. Comments are 
specifically invited on the overall regulatory, aeronautical, economic, 
environmental, and energy-related aspects of the proposal.
    Communications should identify both docket numbers (FAA Docket No. 
FAA-2014-0370 and Airspace Docket No. 14-ASO-2) and be submitted in 
triplicate to the Docket Management System (see ADDRESSES section for 
address and phone number). You may also submit comments through the 
Internet at www.regulations.gov.
    Commenters wishing the FAA to acknowledge receipt of their comments 
on this action must submit with those comments a self-addressed, 
stamped postcard on which the following statement is made: ``Comments 
to FAA Docket No. FAA-2014-0370 and Airspace Docket No. 14-ASO-2.'' The 
postcard will be date/time stamped and returned to the commenter.
    All communications received on or before the specified closing date 
for comments will be considered before taking action on the proposed 
rule. The proposal contained in this action may be changed in light of 
comments received. All comments submitted will be available for 
examination in the public docket both before and after the closing date 
for comments. A report summarizing each substantive public contact with 
FAA personnel concerned with this rulemaking will be filed in the 
docket.

Availability of NPRMs

    An electronic copy of this document may be downloaded through the 
Internet at www.regulations.gov.
    You may review the public docket containing the proposal, any 
comments received and any final disposition in person at the Dockets 
Office (see ADDRESSES section for address and phone number) between 
9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal 
holidays. An informal docket may also be examined during normal 
business hours at the office of the Operations Support Group, Eastern 
Service Center, Federal Aviation Administration, 1701 Columbia Ave., 
College Park, GA 30337.
    Persons interested in being placed on a mailing list for future 
NPRM's should contact the FAA's Office of Rulemaking, (202) 267-9677, 
for a copy of Advisory Circular No. 11-2A, Notice of Proposed 
Rulemaking Distribution System, which describes the application 
procedure.

Background

    Restricted area R-4403, Gainesville, MS, was originally designated 
as of January 6, 1966 (30 FR 10287) for NASA's static testing of large 
space vehicle rocket stages. R-4403 is a rectangular area, measuring 
approximately 2 nautical miles (NM) by 2.5 NM with a designated 
altitude from the surface up to 5,000 feet MSL.
    NASA and NSWC have jointly proposed an expansion of R-4403. The 
existing restricted area is too small to fully contain hazards to 
aviation associated with rocket engine testing and untethered space 
vehicle propulsion system testing. In addition, NSWC requested 
restricted airspace to be used for conducting full mission profile 
training for Special Operations Forces (SOF). This training allows air 
and ground units to practice integrating their operations to eliminate 
potential conflicts and coordination problems that could otherwise 
arise during complex missions when deployed.
    R-4403A and B would be used for NASA activities, while R-4403C 
through F would be used by SOF units to conduct integrated training in 
air and ground tactics prior to their deployment on real-world 
missions. The Stennis Space Center has the potential to enable combined 
SOF training for riverine, jungle and airborne forces. Currently, the 
Stennis Space Center lacks a live-fire air-to-ground capability. This 
deficiency reduces SOF mission integration training in the employment 
of air and ground units to no more than a communications exercise. The 
proposed expansion of R-4403 would provide the live-fire air-to-ground 
capability which is critical to realistic full mission profile 
training.

[[Page 39345]]

The Proposal

    The FAA is proposing an amendment to 14 CFR part 73 to remove 
restricted area R-4403, Gainesville, MS, and redesignate and expand the 
size of the airspace to consist of six subareas: R-4403A, B, C, D, E 
and F, Stennis Space Center, MS. The FAA is proposing this action at 
the request of NASA and the NSWC. R-4403A and B would be used for NASA 
activities, such as continuing rocket engine testing and untethered 
space vehicle propulsion system testing. The NSWC would use the 
proposed R-4403C, D, E and F for integrated Special Operations Forces 
training. The proposed restricted areas are described below.
    R-4403A would extend within a 2.5-NM radius of lat. 30[deg]21'51'' 
N., long. 89[deg]35'39'' W. R-4403A would extend from the surface to 
12,000 feet MSL. It would replace R-4403 with an expanded area to more 
fully contain NASA rocket engine testing hazards, including testing of 
new rocket engine technologies.
    R-4403B would be used by NASA for untethered space vehicle 
propulsion testing. The area would extend upward from the surface to 
6,000 feet MSL. These vehicles are utilized to explore planets and 
asteroids. Testing of these vehicles involves potential hazards since 
failure of the vehicle, its propulsion system or propellant tanks can 
result in explosion of the vehicle. The propensity for this to occur is 
greater with these vehicles than with a standard aircraft because of 
the extremely volatile nature of the propellants and the poor 
aerodynamic characteristics of the vehicle during earth-based 
operation. The proposed R-4403B is designed to contain the flight 
profiles of these vehicles as well as any potential hazards to 
nonparticipating aircraft.
    R-4403C would contain a ground target for air-to-surface weapons 
firing by aircraft such as armed helicopters and AC-130 gunships. 
Surface-to-air laser firing would also be conducted. The area would 
extend upward from the surface to 6,000 feet MSL.
    R-4403D would be used in conjunction with R-4403C. It would have 
the same lateral dimensions as R-4403C and would extend above R-4403C 
from 6,000 feet MSL to 10,000 feet MSL. This area would contain air-to-
ground weapons firing, as well as surface-to-air laser firing.
    R-4403E would contain a ground target for air-to-surface weapons 
firing and surface-to-air laser firing. The area would extend upward 
from the surface to 10,000 feet MSL.
    R-4403F would be used in conjunction with R-4403E. R-4403F would 
wrap around the northeast corner of R-4403E and would extend upward 
from 4,000 feet MSL to 10,000 feet MSL.
    The proposed time of designation for R-4403A and R-4403B is 
``Intermittent, 1000 to 0300 local time, as activated by NOTAM at least 
24 hours in advance.'' The proposed time of designation for R-4403C, D, 
E and F is ``Intermittent, 1800 to 2400 local time as activated by 
NOTAM at least 24 hours in advance; other times by NOTAM with ATC 
approval. (Note: The term ``Intermittent'' is used to indicate 
occasional, irregular, or changeable use periods). During periods when 
the proposed restricted areas are not needed by the using agencies, the 
airspace would be returned to the controlling agency for access by 
other airspace users.
    A color graphic depiction of the proposed restricted areas will be 
posted under the ``Supporting & Related Material'' section on the 
www.regulations.gov Web site (search FAA-2014-0370).
    The FAA has determined that this proposed regulation only involves 
an established body of technical regulations for which frequent and 
routine amendments are necessary to keep them operationally current. 
Therefore, this proposed 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 proposed 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 would restructure the restricted airspace at the Stennis Space 
Center, MS, to enhance aviation safety and accommodate essential NASA 
and NSWC requirements.

Environmental Review

    This proposal will be subjected to an environmental analysis in 
accordance with FAA Order 1050.1E, ``Environmental Impacts: Policies 
and Procedures,'' prior to any FAA final regulatory action.

List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 73

    Airspace, Prohibited Areas, Restricted Areas.

The Proposed Amendment

    In consideration of the foregoing, the Federal Aviation 
Administration proposes to amend 14 CFR part 73 as follows:

PART 73--SPECIAL USE AIRSPACE

0
1. The authority citation for part 73 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.  73.44  (Amended)

0
2. Sec.  73.44 is amended as follows:
* * * * *

R-4403 Gainesville, MS [Removed]

* * * * *

R-4403A Stennis Space Center, MS [New]

    Boundaries. Within a 2.5-NM radius centered at lat. 30[deg]21'51'' 
N., long. 89[deg]35'39'' W.
    Designated altitudes. Surface to 12,000 feet MSL.
    Time of designation. Intermittent, 1000 to 0300 local time, as 
activated by NOTAM at least 24 hours in advance.
    Controlling agency. FAA, Houston ARTCC.
    Using agency. NASA, Director, Stennis Space Center, Bay St. Louis, 
MS.
* * * * *

R-4403B Stennis Space Center, MS [New]

    Boundaries. Beginning at lat. 30[deg]29'37'' N., long. 
89[deg]35'16'' W.; to lat. 30[deg]29'37'' N., long. 89[deg]32'33'' W.; 
thence clockwise along a 0.85 NM arc centered at lat. 30[deg]28'46'' 
N., long. 89[deg]32'33'' W.; to lat. 30[deg]28'46'' N., long. 
89[deg]31'34'' W.; to lat. 30[deg]26'25'' N., long. 89[deg]31'34'' W.; 
to lat. 30[deg]24'02'' N., long. 89[deg]31'34'' W.; thence 
counterclockwise along a 4.2 NM arc centered at lat. 30[deg]22'04'' N., 
long. 89[deg]27'17'' W.; to lat. 30[deg]20'22'' N., long.

[[Page 39346]]

89[deg]31'43'' W.; to lat. 30[deg]19'25'' N., long. 89[deg]35'00'' W.; 
to lat. 30[deg]18'23'' N., long. 89[deg]40'17'' W.; to lat. 
30[deg]21'08'' N., long. 89[deg]42'25'' W.; to lat. 30[deg]22'22'' N., 
long. 89[deg]42'58'' W.; to lat. 30[deg]23'44'' N., long. 
89[deg]42'43'' W.; to lat. 30[deg]26'40'' N., long. 89[deg]40'51'' W.; 
thence counterclockwise along a 3 NM arc centered at lat. 
30[deg]29'15'' N., long. 89[deg]39'04'' W.; to lat. 30[deg]27'08'' N., 
long. 89[deg]36'37'' W.; to lat. 30[deg]27'58'' N., long. 
89[deg]35'27'' W.; to lat. 30[deg]28'47'' N., long. 89[deg]35'27'' W.; 
to the point of beginning.
    Designated altitudes. Surface to 6,000 feet MSL.
    Time of designation. Intermittent, 1000 to 0300 local time, as 
activated by NOTAM at least 24 hours in advance.
    Controlling agency. FAA, Houston ARTCC.
    Using agency. NASA, Director, Stennis Space Center, Bay St. Louis, 
MS.
* * * * *

R-4403C Stennis Space Center, MS [New]

    Boundaries. Beginning at lat. 30[deg]27'58'' N., long. 
89[deg]35'27'' W.; to lat. 30[deg]22'35'' N., long. 89[deg]35'27'' W.; 
to lat. 30[deg]20'22'' N., long. 89[deg]31'43'' W.; to lat. 
30[deg]19'25'' N., long. 89[deg]35'00'' W.; to lat. 30[deg]18'23'' N., 
long. 89[deg]40'17'' W.; to lat. 30[deg]21'08'' N., long. 
89[deg]42'25'' W.; to lat. 30[deg]22'22' N., long. 89[deg]42'58'' W.; 
to lat. 30[deg]23'44'' N., long. 89[deg]42'43'' W.; to lat. 
30[deg]26'40'' N., long. 89[deg]40'51'' W.; thence counterclockwise 
along a 3 NM arc centered at lat. 30[deg]29'15'' N., long. 
89[deg]39'04'' W.; to lat. 30[deg]27'08'' N., long. 89[deg]36'37'' W.; 
to the point of beginning.
    Designated altitudes. Surface to but not including 6,000 feet MSL.
    Time of designation. Intermittent, 1800 to 2400 local time, as 
activated by NOTAM at least 24 hours in advance; other times by NOTAM 
with ATC approval.
    Controlling agency. FAA, Houston ARTCC.
    Using agency. U.S. Navy, Deputy Commander, Naval Special Warfare 
Command, Naval Special Warfare N31 Branch, Stennis Space Center, Bay 
St. Louis, MS.
* * * * *

R-4403D Stennis Space Center, MS [New]

    Boundaries. Beginning at lat. 30[deg]27'58'' N., long. 
89[deg]35'27'' W.; to lat. 30[deg]22'35'' N., long. 89[deg]35'27'' W.; 
to lat. 30[deg]20'22'' N., long. 89[deg]31'43'' W.; to lat. 
30[deg]19'25'' N., long. 89[deg]35'00'' W.; to lat. 30[deg]18'23'' N., 
long. 89[deg]40'17'' W.; to lat. 30[deg]21'08'' N., long. 
89[deg]42'25'' W.; to lat. 30[deg]22'22'' N., long. 89[deg]42'58'' W.; 
to lat. 30[deg]23'44'' N., long. 89[deg]42'43'' W.; to lat. 
30[deg]26'40'' N., long. 89[deg]40'51'' W.; thence counterclockwise 
along a 3 NM arc centered at lat. 30[deg]29'15'' N., long. 
89[deg]39'04'' W.; to lat. 30[deg]27'08'' N., long. 89[deg]36'37'' W.; 
to the point of beginning.
    Designated altitudes. 6,000 feet MSL to 10,000 feet MSL.
    Time of designation. Intermittent, 1800 to 2400 local time, as 
activated by NOTAM at least 24 hours in advance; other times by NOTAM 
with ATC approval.
    Controlling agency. FAA, Houston ARTCC.
    Using agency. U.S. Navy, Deputy Commander, Naval Special Warfare 
Command, Naval Special Warfare N31 Branch, Stennis Space Center, Bay 
St. Louis, MS.
* * * * *

R-4403E Stennis Space Center, MS [New]

    Boundaries. Beginning at lat. 30[deg]29'37'' N., long. 
89[deg]35'16'' W.; to lat. 30[deg]29'37'' N., long. 89[deg]32'33'' W.; 
thence clockwise along a 0.85 NM arc centered at lat. 30[deg]28'46'' 
N., long. 89[deg]32'33'' W.; to lat. 30[deg]28'46'' N., long. 
89[deg]31'34'' W.; to lat. 30[deg]26'25'' N., long. 89[deg]31'34'' W.; 
to lat. 30[deg]24'02'' N., long. 89[deg]31'34'' W.; thence 
counterclockwise along a 4.2 NM arc centered at lat. 30[deg]22'04'' N., 
long. 89[deg]27'17'' W.; to lat. 30[deg]20'22'' N., long. 
89[deg]31'43'' W.; to lat. 30[deg]22'35'' N., long. 89[deg]35'27'' W.; 
to lat. 30[deg]27'58'' N., long. 89[deg]35'27'' W,; to lat. 
30[deg]28'47'' N., long. 89[deg]35'27'' W.; to the point of beginning.
    Designated altitudes. Surface to 10,000 feet MSL.
    Time of designation. Intermittent, 1800 to 2400 local time, as 
activated by NOTAM at least 24 hours in advance; other times by NOTAM 
with ATC approval.
    Controlling agency. FAA, Houston ARTCC.
    Using agency. U.S. Navy, Deputy Commander, Naval Special Warfare 
Command, Naval Special Warfare N31 Branch, Stennis Space Center, Bay 
St. Louis, MS.
* * * * *

R-4403F Stennis Space Center, MS [New]

    Boundaries. Beginning at lat. 30[deg]29'37'' N., long. 
89[deg]35'16'' W.; thence clockwise along a 2.5 NM arc centered at lat. 
30[deg]28'46'' N., long. 89[deg]32'33'' W.; to lat. 30[deg]26'25'' N., 
long. 89[deg]31'34'' W.; to lat. 30[deg]28'46'' N., long. 
89[deg]31'34'' W.; thence counterclockwise along a 0.85 NM arc centered 
at lat. 30[deg]28'46'' N., long. 89[deg]32'33'' W.; to lat. 
30[deg]29'37'' N., long. 89[deg]32'33'' W.; to the point of beginning.
    Designated altitudes. 4,000 feet MSL to 10,000 feet MSL.
    Time of designation. Intermittent, 1800 to 2400 local time, as 
activated by NOTAM at least 24 hours in advance; other times by NOTAM 
with ATC approval.
    Controlling agency. FAA, Houston ARTCC.
    Using agency. U.S. Navy, Deputy Commander, Naval Special Warfare 
Command, Naval Special Warfare N31 Branch, Stennis Space Center, Bay 
St. Louis, MS.
* * * * *

    Issued in Washington, DC, on July 2, 2014.
Gary A. Norek,
Manager, Airspace Policy and Regulations Group.
[FR Doc. 2014-16059 Filed 7-9-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P