[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 168 (Thursday, August 29, 2013)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 53237-53239]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-21004]



Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Part 71

[Docket No. FAA-2013-0339; Airspace Docket No. 12-AEA-15]
RIN 2120-AA66

Establishment of Area Navigation (RNAV) Routes; Washington, DC

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Final rule.


SUMMARY: This action establishes two new low-altitude RNAV routes, 
designated T-287 and T-299, to enhance the flow of air traffic to the 
west of the Washington-Dulles International Airport. Also, there is a 
name change to one of the navigation fixes; an adjustment to the 
coordinates of another navigation fix, and a change from a waypoint to 
a fix for a navigation point.

DATES: Effective date 0901 UTC, October 17, 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.



    On April 29, 2013, the FAA published in the Federal Register a 
notice of

[[Page 53238]]

proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to establish two new RNAV routes in the 
Washington, DC area (82 FR 25006). Interested parties were invited to 
participate in this rulemaking effort by submitting written comments on 
the proposal. One comment was received.

Discussion of Comments

    The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) commented that 
they do not support the establishment of T-287 and T-299 and advocated 
that the FAA withdraw the proposal. AOPA contended that aircraft 
already are able to circumnavigate the Washington-Dulles (IAD) arrival 
flows by using existing Victor airways; thus, pilots will avoid use of 
the proposed T-routes because they are inefficient and lack benefit.
    T-287 and T-299 were developed to allow aircraft to navigate via 
routes that are procedurally separated from the NextGen Optimized 
Profile Descent arrival procedures in the IAD area. While the new 
routes may result in more track miles flown as compared to nearby V-
143, it should be noted that, during busy periods, Air Traffic Control 
vectors aircraft on V-143 vectored off the airway to the west very near 
the tracks of the new T-routes. Aircraft filed via V-377 will fly a 
shorter distance and more direct routing with the new routes. T-287 and 
T-299 allow for unrestricted optimized profile descents into the IAD 
area. The routes were not designed to push traffic farther away from 
Class B airspace, but to provide additional options for pilots and air 
traffic controllers alike during weather and high volume traffic 
periods. Since they mimic the tracks already used for vectoring 
aircraft, the T-routes provide more consistent, predicable and precise 
routing. The FAA believes that these routes do benefit both pilots and 
air traffic controllers.
    AOPA further contended that T-routes must be established within 
Class B airspace to retain an equivalent level of service and access 
for general aviation. AOPA asserted that, if future T-route development 
is limited to locations significantly outside the boundaries of Class B 
airspace, general aviation will loose the limited access it currently 
    Originally, T-routes were developed to serve as ``Area Navigation 
IFR Terminal Transition Routes (RITTR).'' RITTRs were intended to 
provide more direct routing and expedite movement of aircraft around or 
through congested terminal airspace areas (such as Class B airspace) 
using RNAV capabilities. In 2007 the FAA decided to discontinue the use 
of the term ``RITTR'' in favor of applying the ``T-route'' designator 
to all published RNAV routes below 18,000 feet MSL, whether their 
purpose is to provide more direct access through terminal airspace 
(such as Class B) or as part of the low altitude en route structure. 
This change does not alter the fact that T-routes may still be 
established specifically to enable transit through Class B airspace 
    AOPA criticized the Washington DC ``Optimization of Airspace and 
Procedures in a Metroplex (OAPM)'' effort in that this rule did not 
include T-routes through the Washington Tri-Area Class B airspace area. 
AOPA suggested another location for a T-route through the Washington 
Class B airspace area.
    This rule represents just one part of the DC OAPM effort. While a 
separate DC OAPM rulemaking action included the establishment of two T-
routes (T-291 and T-295) through the east side of the Washington Tri-
Area Class B airspace (78 FR 37104, June 20, 2013), establishing T-
routes through the Class B airspace is outside the scope of this 
specific rule. The Washington Tri-Area Class B area is currently under 
review for possible modification in the future. An Ad Hoc Committee was 
formed to recommend possible Class B changes to the FAA. The FAA is 
reviewing the Committee's recommendations and will initiate further 
public participation at a later date. The issue of access through the 
Class B will be considered as part of that effort. It should be noted 
that any future DC Class B modifications will be influenced by the 
requirements of the ``Washington, DC Metropolitan Area Special Flight 
Rules Area (14 CFR part 93, subpart V).''

Differences From the NPRM

    This rule corrects an error in the header line of the legal 
description of RNAV route T-287, as published in the NPRM, by removing 
the abbreviation ``(GVE).'' GVE was mistakenly inserted in the NPRM and 
is not a part of the T-287 description. The coordinates for the WILMY 
waypoint in T-287 were adjusted slightly along the track to facilitate 
a more optimum minimum en route altitude. This rule also changes the 
name of the ``HAANK'' waypoint in T-299 to ``UCREK.'' After the NPRM 
was published, it was found that the name ``HAANK'' was unavailable. 
The latitude/longitude coordinates for UCREK are the same as were 
listed for HAANK in the NPRM. Also in T-299, the ``SCAPE'' navigation 
point is changed from a ``waypoint'' to a ``fix.'' Except for these 
corrections and editorial changes, this rule is the same as published 
in the NPRM.

The Rule

    The FAA is amending Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) 
part 71 to establish two new RNAV routes (T-287 and T-299) west of the 
Washington-Dulles International Airport (IAD) area. The new routes 
support the Washington, DC Optimization of Airspace and Procedures in a 
Metroplex (OAPM) project and enable aircraft to circumnavigate IAD 
arrival flows. Aircraft transiting through the Washington, DC area are 
routinely vectored to the west of the IAD area in order to separate 
them from the major arrival flows into the IAD area. T-287 and T-299 
are designed to mimic the flight paths currently used for vectoring 
these transiting aircraft. The routes provide consistent and 
predictable routing for aircraft to file and navigate while being 
assured of separation from larger turbojet aircraft entering and 
exiting the Washington, DC area. Further, the routes reduce air traffic 
controller workload and enhance efficiency within the National Airspace 
    Low altitude RNAV routes are published in paragraph 6011 of FAA 
Order 7400.9W dated August 8, 2012, and effective September 15, 2012, 
which is incorporated by reference in 14 CFR 71.1. The RNAV routes 
listed 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 only affects air traffic 
procedures and air navigation, it is certified that this rule, when 
promulgated, does 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,

[[Page 53239]]

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 establishes RNAV 
routes to as required to preserve the safe and efficient flow of air 
traffic in the Washington, DC area.

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.

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:


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]

2. The incorporation by reference in 14 CFR 71.1 of FAA Order 7400.9W, 
Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 8, 2012, and 
effective September 15, 2012, is amended as follows:

Paragraph 6011 United States Area Navigation Routes

* * * * *

T-287 DENNN, VA to TOMYD, MD [New]
DENNN, VA                                    WP                             (Lat. 38[deg]05'06'' N., long. 078[deg]12'28'' W.)
CAARY, VA                                    WP                             (Lat. 38[deg]19'40'' N., long. 078[deg]23'37'' W.)
WILMY, VA                                    WP                             (Lat. 38[deg]32'30'' N., long. 078[deg]33'32'' W.)
KAIJE, VA                                    WP                             (Lat. 38[deg]44'35'' N., long. 078[deg]42'48'' W.)
BAMMY, WV                                    WP                             (Lat. 39[deg]24'33'' N., long. 078[deg]25'46'' W.)
REEES, PA                                    WP                             (Lat. 39[deg]47'52'' N., long. 077[deg]45'56'' W.)
TOMYD, MD                                    WP                             (Lat. 39[deg]40' 52'' N., long. 077[deg]08'26'' W.)
T-299 UCREK, VA to SCAPE, PA [New]
UCREK, VA                                    WP                             (Lat. 38[deg]01'33'' N., long. 079[deg]02'56'' W.)
KAIJE, VA                                    WP                             (Lat. 38[deg]44'35'' N., long. 078[deg]42'48'' W.)
BAMMY, WV                                    WP                             (Lat. 39[deg]24'33'' N., long. 078[deg]25'46'' W.)
REEES, PA                                    WP                             (Lat. 39[deg]47'52'' N., long. 077[deg]45'56'' W.)
SCAPE, PA                                    Fix                            (Lat. 39[deg]56'42'' N., long. 077[deg]32'12'' W.)

    Issued in Washington, DC, on August 21, 2013.
Gary A. Norek,
Manager, Airspace Policy and ATC Procedures Group.
[FR Doc. 2013-21004 Filed 8-28-13; 8:45 am]