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76148 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No.

246 / Friday, December 23, 2005 / Rules and Regulations

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION adequate justification has not been not capable of causing significant
provided for establishing a prohibited damage to buildings or equipment.
Federal Aviation Administration area at Kings Bay, GA. FAA Response: The FAA does not
FAA Response: The purpose of agree. Submarine characteristics and
14 CFR Part 73 establishing Prohibited Area P–50 is to design information is classified and,
[Docket No. FAA–2003–15976; Airspace be proactive in preventing terrorism therefore, cannot be discussed here.
Docket No. 03–AWA–5] rather than reactive. The September 11, However, the potential for serious
2001, attacks identified some damage to the vessels does exist
RIN 2120–AA66 weaknesses in the defense of certain whether it is the result of a direct
Establishment of Prohibited Area P– critical U.S. assets, and some analysts impact or collateral damage.
50; Kings Bay, GA still claim that necessary steps to
prevent future terrorist attacks have not Numerous commenters, including the
AGENCY: Federal Aviation been taken. P–50 is just one part of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association
Administration (FAA), DOT. U.S. Navy’s integrated, layered defense (AOPA) and the General Aviation
ACTION: Final rule. plan for the Kings Bay facility. The Manufacturers Association (GAMA),
submarines berthed at Kings Bay are said that the FAA should consider
SUMMARY: This action establishes vital assets that require continual alternatives to a permanent prohibited
Prohibited Area P–50 over the U.S. protection, not just during periods of airspace designation. They cited a
Naval Submarine Base, Kings Bay, GA. heightened security. number of actions taken by the Federal
The prohibited area replaces a A number of commenters stated that government since September 11, 2001,
Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) that a prohibited area would do nothing to to enhance aviation security, including:
is currently in effect at that location. enhance actual security at Kings Bay. It advanced screening of pilot data bases,
The FAA is taking this action in would provide no deterrence to flight training restrictions and
response to a request from the U.S. Navy terrorists because they do not follow the background checks for foreign nationals
as part of its efforts to enhance the rules anyway. Commenters expressed seeking flight training, and various
security of the Naval Submarine Base, doubt that a prohibited area would requirements pertaining to flight school
Kings Bay, GA. provide adequate time for the Navy to operations. In addition, AOPA’s
EFFECTIVE DATE: 0901 UTC, February 16, react to a threat. Further, the area would nationwide Airport Watch program was
2006. only serve to limit the freedom of law- initiated to improve the security of
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Paul abiding pilots and possibly put an airports and aircraft. AOPA called for
Gallant, Airspace and Rules, Office of aircraft at risk of a shoot down in the the FAA to issue an advisory for pilots,
System Operations Airspace and AIM, event of an inadvertent penetration of similar to that contained in the current
Federal Aviation Administration, 800 the prohibited area caused by an aircraft Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) that advises
Independence Avenue, SW., emergency or malfunction, lost pilot, or pilots to avoid flight near nuclear power
Washington, DC 20591; telephone: (202) some other innocent circumstance. plants, instead of implementing the
267–8783. FAA Response: The FAA agrees that prohibited area.
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: a prohibited area designation, in itself, FAA Response: The FAA agrees that
presents no physical impediment to the initiatives described above have
History stop an attack. However, the Navy is
contributed to aviation system security.
On February 26, 2004, the FAA aggressively pursuing a multitude of
However, these general initiatives do
published in the Federal Register a defensive measures at Kings Bay to
not negate the need for specific
notice of proposed rulemaking to prevent an airborne attack. Each of these
measures at the Kings Bay Naval Base.
establish a prohibited area over the U.S. measures includes the identification of
Regarding the suggestion that the FAA
Naval Submarine Base, Kings Bay, GA hostile aircraft. P–50 will enhance the
issue an advisory avoidance NOTAM
(69 FR 8884). The FAA proposed this protection of U.S. assets by reducing
instead of establishing a prohibited area,
action, at the request of the U.S. Navy, low altitude aircraft overflights of the
it should be noted that the ‘‘power
to enhance the security of the Kings Bay facility and provide a better means for
plant’’ NOTAM discussed above is a
facility. Interested parties were invited identifying potentially hostile aircraft.
voluntary measure and does not
to participate in this rulemaking effort The purpose of P–50, then, is not to
provide a sterile environment for prohibit aircraft overflight of a facility.
by submitting written comments on the By prohibiting flight in the airspace
proposal. The comment period ended airborne assets to engage a hostile
aircraft. An aircraft intruding into the above the base, the Navy’s defense force
April 12, 2004. A total of 124 comments can more easily focus on the
were received in response to the notice. prohibited area will draw the attention
of ground security forces and may identification of a potential threat and
All comments received were considered react accordingly.
in this rulemaking action, including six provide the ‘‘heads up’’ notice required
comments received by the Document to take proper action to prevent or The majority of the commenters,
Management System after the closing lessen the severity of an attack. An including AOPA, GAMA, and the St.
date. incursion into P–50 would not Marys Airport Authority, opposed the
automatically equate to hostile intent or prohibited area because it would
Discussion of Comments trigger a defensive response. severely impact the operation of the
One commenter wrote in support of Several commenters stated that nearby St. Marys Airport (4J6), St.
the proposed action. All other general aviation (GA) aircraft are too Marys, GA. The airport has been
commenters opposed the establishment small to be a viable threat to the continuously impacted by various TFR
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of the prohibited area. The following is submarines at the Kings Bay facility. over the Kings Bay Naval Base since
a discussion of the substantive One commenter cited the January 2002 September 13, 2001. The commenters
comments received. intentional crash by a suicidal pilot of cited numerous adverse impacts on the
Many commenters contended that a small aircraft into a Tampa, FL, office airport and community, including:
there is no credible terrorist threat and building as evidence that GA aircraft are cancellation of the only instrument

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Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 246 / Friday, December 23, 2005 / Rules and Regulations 76149

approach procedure serving the airport, and Eglin AFB, FL, are located in close evaluation as the anticipated impact is
thereby reducing the airport to Visual proximity to civilian airports without a so minimal. Since this is a routine
Flight Rules only operations; adverse similar airspace restriction. matter that will only affect air traffic
impact on the safety and usefulness of FAA Response: The commenter is procedures and air navigation, it is
the airport due to the proximity of the correct; however, other military certified that this rule, when
TFR/prohibited area to the main airport installations do not have the same promulgated, will not have a significant
runway 4/22 (which is the only runway operational requirements or mission as economic impact on a substantial
with lighting for night operations); that of the Naval Submarine Base, Kings number of small entities under the
reluctance of user to conduct flight Bay, GA.
criteria of the Regulatory Flexibility Act.
training at the airport due to the risk of Statutory Authority
unintentional penetration of the TFR/ Environmental Review
prohibited area; the airport has become The FAA Administrator has broad
less attractive to commercial operators; authority under Title 49 of the United The FAA has determined that this
and, loss of jobs and lessened economic States Code (49 U.S.C.) to regulate the action qualifies for a categorical
growth in the local area. Some use of the navigable airspace. In exclusion from further environmental
commenters added that, because of the exercising that authority, the analysis under the National
restrictions, the government should pay Administrator is required to give Environmental Policy Act in accordance
to install runway lighting and establish consideration to the requirements of with FAA Order 1050.1E,
instrument approach procedures for the national defense and commercial and Environmental Impacts: Policies and
remaining runway 13/31. Other general aviation, and the public right of Procedures, paragraphs 303d and 312d.
commenters said the government should freedom of transit through the navigable
pay to relocate St. Marys Airport to a airspace (49 U.S.C. 40101). The List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 73
site unaffected by the Kings Bay Administrator is also empowered to
develop plans and policy for the use of Airspace, Prohibited areas, Restricted
FAA Response: The FAA agrees that the navigable airspace and assign by areas.
the restrictions imposed by the current regulation or order the use of the Adoption of Amendment
TFR adversely affect St. Marys Airport airspace necessary to ensure the safety
operations. These restrictions will of aircraft and the efficient use of ■ In consideration of the foregoing, the
continue to exist under the proposed airspace (49 U.S.C. 40103(b)). Federal Aviation Administration
prohibited area. The airport’s close Additionally, the Administrator shall, in amends 14 CFR part 73 as follows:
proximity to the Kings Bay base limits consultation with the Secretary of
the options available to offset the Defense, establish areas in the airspace PART 73—SPECIAL USE AIRSPACE
restrictions imposed by the TFR and the the Administrator decides are necessary
proposed prohibited area. Until in the interest of national defense (49 ■ 1. The authority citation for part 73
recently, the only instrument approach U.S.C. 40103(b)(3)(A)). continues to read as follows:
serving the St. Marys Airport was the The Rule Authority: 49 U.S.C. 106(g), 40103, 40113,
surveillance radar approach to runway 4 40120; E.O. 10854, 24 FR 9565, 3 CFR, 1959–
(ASR RWY 4). The close proximity of This action amends Title 14 Code of
Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 73 by 1963 Comp., p. 389.
the TFR rendered the missed approach
portion of that procedure unusable, designating Prohibited Area P–50 at § 73.92 [New]
therefore the approach was suspended. Kings Bay, GA. Prohibited Area P–50
On September 30, 2004, a revised ASR consists of that airspace, from the ■ 2. § 73.92 is added as follows:
RWY 4 approach was authorized with a surface to, but not including 3,000 feet * * * * *
relocated missed approach point that MSL, within a 2–NM radius of Lat.
provides additional space for aircraft to 30°48′00″ N., long. 81°31′00″ W. In P–50 Kings Bay, GA [New]
execute a left climbing turn away from accordance with 14 CFR § 73.83 and Boundaries. That airspace within a 2–NM
the current TFR. On November 25, 2004, § 91.133, no person may operate an radius of Lat. 30°48′00″ N., long. 81°31′00″
two area navigation (RNAV) Global aircraft within a prohibited area unless W.
Positioning System (GPS) approaches authorization has been granted by the Designated altitudes. Surface to but not
were published serving runways 13 and using agency. The dimensions of P–50 including 3,000 feet MSL.
31. However, because these runways are are identical to those contained in the Time of designation. Continuous.
not lighted, the RNAV GPS approaches TFR now in effect over the Kings Bay Using agency. Administrator, FAA,
are not authorized for use at night. facility via NOTAM number 5/9063. Washington, DC.
Currently, a St. Marys Airport NOTAM number 5/9063 will be * * * * *
relocation feasibility and site selection cancelled on the effective date of
effort is in progress involving the City Prohibited Area P–50. Issued in Washington, DC on December 19,
of St. Marys, the State of Georgia, and The FAA has determined that this 2005.
the FAA. A line item for a proposed regulation only involves an established Edith V. Parish,
replacement of the airport was included body of technical regulations for which Manager, Airspace and Rules.
in the FAA’s National Plan of Integrated frequent and routine amendments are [FR Doc. 05–24431 Filed 12–22–05; 8:45 am]
Airport Systems (2005–2009). necessary to keep them operationally BILLING CODE 4910–13–P
Environmental analysis of various current. Therefore, this regulation: (1) Is
alternatives is being conducted. No not a ‘‘significant regulatory action’’
decisions about relocating the airport under Executive Order 12866; (2) is not
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have been made at this time. a ‘‘significant rule’’ under Department of

One commenter wrote that numerous Transportation, (DOT) Regulatory
U.S. military facilities such as Fort Policies and Procedures (44 FR 11034;
Campbell, KY; Fort Benning, GA; February 26, 1979); and (3) does not
McConnell Air Force Base (AFB), KS; warrant preparation of a regulatory

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