Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Military eyes more Guam air space

Military eyes more Guam air space

Wednesday, 25 November 2009 01:45
by Zita Y. Taitano | Variety News Staff

THE use of air space and radar operation sites on Guam needed for the proposed military buildup are detailed in the thick draft environmental impact statement still undergoing extensive scrutiny by residents and government officials.

Chapter 7 of volume five in the ten part document outlines the Army Air and Missile Defense Task Force as well as its role and needs. The probable consequences of airspace in relation to alternative sites where the task force will be situated indicates a preference for the northwest area of Guam.

The impact of controlled and uncontrolled airspace was analyzed to determine if the missile defense group would need what is referred to as “special use airspace” or whether temporary flight restrictions should be introduced for the area.

Another aspect explored was the presentation of “an obstruction to air navigation.” That obstruction, however, was not described in detail in the exhaustive report.

It should be noted that in the chapter, however it was clear special use airspace would first have to come into compliance with existing policies and procedures of the Federal Aviation Administration. This would include training and certification periods the FAA would process in order for the utilization of air space at the selected site.

It was further noted in the report that restricted areas would have no impact with the flight patterns or operations at the Guam International Airport or at Andersen Air Force Base.

A location on the northwest shore of Guam, near Ritidian point and Jinapsan Beach, where a number of local families still own property, is the location the impact statement designates as a “preferred site” for special use airspace that would include a high altitude missile system and radar array.

According to the report, this area would also have no impact on GIAA nor Andersen and provide operations that would continue to be subject to air traffic control clearances and instructions.

The impact report further states any hazardous air training activities would be communicated to commercial airlines and general aviation as per regulations published by the FAA.

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