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					Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement
National Training Center, Fort Irwin, CA                                   Public Draft – January 2004

3.16 Airspace
3.16.1     Airspace Description

3.16.1.1   National Airspace System
The Federal Aviation Act of 1958 created the FAA and charged the FAA with ensuring the
safety of aircraft and the efficient use of the National Airspace System (NAS) within the
jurisdiction of the U.S. The NAS, commonly referred to as the Air Traffic Control (ATC) System,
comprises the airports, air carriers, and air traffic controllers that collectively make safe and
efficient air transportation possible within the U.S.

Flight Rules
The safe, orderly, and compatible use of the nation’s airspace is made possible through a
system of flight rules and regulations, airspace designations, and ATC procedures. Just as
traffic laws and vehicle operating rules govern the use of the nation’s highways, flight rules and
regulations, airspace designations, and ATC procedures govern the use of the NAS. This
system accommodates the individual and common needs of general, commercial, and military
aviation without imposing unreasonable restrictions on any one group. The NAS has helped
achieve a level of air safety that is widely considered safer than driving an automobile. The
primary reasons for this level of air safety are the manner in which airspace is structured across
the U.S., and the way it is managed to protect aircraft operations around busy airports, along a
complex network of airways and jet routes, and within areas where special activities, such as
military flight operations are conducted.

The FAA manages the NAS by establishing rules that specify how aircraft must be operated;
depicting routes and other areas on maps that identify where aircraft may or may not fly; and
providing ATC services that help aircraft operate in a safe and orderly manner. Collectively,
these actions are intended to make airspace use as effective and compatible as possible for all
types of aircraft, from private propeller-driven aircraft to large high-speed commercial and
military jet aircraft.

Visual Flight Rules
Visual Flight Rules (VFR) govern the procedures for conducting flight under visual conditions.
The term “VFR” is also used in the United States to indicate weather conditions that are equal to
or greater than minimum VFR requirements. Pilots flying between local airports and airfields
within a familiar geographical area may operate under VFR. Visual Flight Rules generally
allows pilots to fly off published instrument routes (weather conditions permitting) using visual
references such as highways, power lines, railroads, or other visual cues. Pilots may also follow
federal airways flying at altitudes not used for instrument flight. Visual Flight Rules flight is
restricted to altitudes below 18,000 ft (FL180) AMSL and does not require flight clearances from
ATC, although traffic advisories may be requested. Pilots flying VFR must exercise “see-and-
avoid” clearance precautions, which means they must be vigilant of their surroundings and alter
their course or altitude as necessary to remain clear of other traffic, terrain, populated areas,
clouds, etc.

Instrument Flight Rules
Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) govern the procedures for conducting instrument flight. Other air
traffic, including appropriately certified general aviation pilots, commercial air carriers, corporate
jets, and military aircraft, operate under IFR. To fly under IFR, pilots must be trained and

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Public Draft – January 2004                                  National Training Center, Fort Irwin, CA

certified in advanced navigational methods and adhere to ATC clearances containing specific
flight routes and altitude directions. Air Traffic Control clearances, air traffic control radar, and
navigational aid systems keep IFR aircraft separated from each other from takeoff to landing.
The safe and compatible use of all airspace by both VFR and IFR aircraft depends heavily on
pilot adherence to the rules that apply to their type of operations.

Weather influences the type of flight rules that must be followed. Visual Flight Rules require a
ceiling of 1,000 ft or greater and horizontal visibility of 3 miles or greater. If weather conditions
are below these minimums, an aircraft must fly IFR or not at all.

3.16.1.2   Airspace Structure
The NAS comprises two airspace classifications: controlled and uncontrolled airspace. These
classifications allow for safe use of the airspace by multiple users (e.g., general aviation,
commercial, and military aircraft). These classifications are described below.

Controlled Airspace
Controlled airspace encompasses airspace (Class A, Class B, Class C, Class D, and Class E)
within which the FAA provides ATC services:

Class A Airspace
Class A airspace originates at 18,000 ft (FL180) AMSL and extends upward to an altitude of
60,000 ft (FL600) AMSL. Aircraft operating in this airspace must meet the requirements for
instrument flight and operate solely under IFR.

Class B, C, and D Airspace
These three airspace classes surround airports with ATC towers and define the airspace under
tower or ATC control. An ATC clearance is required to enter and operate within Class B
airspace. Pilots flying VFR are provided sequencing and separation from other aircraft while
operating within Class B airspace. Aircraft in Class C and D airspace must be in radio
communication with the ATC facility that controls the airspace.

Class E Airspace
Generally, if controlled airspace is not Class A, B, C, or D, it is classified as Class E airspace.
Class E airspace has no defined vertical limit, but rather, it extends upward from either the
surface, or a designated altitude, to the overlying or adjacent controlled airspace. Civilian low
altitude airways (described later) are Class E airspace areas and, unless otherwise specified,
extend upward from 1,200 ft above ground level (AGL) to, but not including, 18,000 ft (FL180)
AMSL.

Uncontrolled Airspace
All uncontrolled airspace (airspace that has not been designated as Class A, B, C, D, or E) is
designated as Class G airspace. The Fort Irwin area contains uncontrolled and special use
airspace (see below). This includes the Panamint and Shoshone MOAs (to the north and
northeast of Fort Irwin), the Silver MOA (to the east of Fort Irwin), and the Barstow MOA (to the
south and southwest of Fort Irwin).




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Special Use Airspace
Special Use Airspace is a subcomponent of the NAS. Special use airspace is airspace of
defined dimensions wherein activities must be confined because of their nature, or wherein
limitations are imposed upon aircraft operations that are not a part of those activities. Except for
Controlled Firing Areas (CFAs), special use airspace areas are depicted on aeronautical charts.
Prohibited and Restricted Areas are regulatory special use airspace and are established in
Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Title 14, Chapter 1, Part 11, Subpart A, through the
rulemaking process. Warning Areas, MOAs, Alert Areas, and CFAs are non-regulatory special
use airspace (FAA 2001b). The three types of Special Use Airspace affecting the NTC are
explained below.

Restricted Areas
Restricted Area boundaries are depicted on aeronautical charts and identified by the letter “R”
followed by a number for the specific area (i.e., R-2508). Restricted Areas are established
when it is determined necessary to confine or segregate activities considered hazardous to
nonparticipating aircraft. Aircraft flight, while not wholly prohibited, is subject to restriction.
Restricted Areas denote the existence of unusual, often invisible hazards to aircraft such as
artillery firing, aerial gunnery, aerial bombardment, or guided missile launches. The Restricted
Area altitude floor may be established to the surface only when the using agency owns, leases,
or by agreement controls the underlying surface. The airspace over Fort Irwin is classified as
Restricted Areas.

Military Operations Areas
Military Operations Area boundaries are depicted on aeronautical charts and are identified by
geographical names for the specific area (i.e., Shoshone MOA). A MOA is airspace designated
outside of Class A airspace, to separate or segregate certain non-hazardous military activities
from IFR traffic and to identify VFR traffic where these activities are conducted. Military
Operations Areas are designated to contain non-hazardous, military flight activities including,
but not limited to, air combat maneuvers, air intercepts, low altitude tactics, etc. Military
Operations Areas may extend below 1,200 ft AGL if a mission requirement exists and there is
minimal adverse aeronautical effect. Provisions must be made to enable aerial access to
private and public use land beneath the area, and for terminal VFR and IFR flight operations.
Provisions must also be made to accommodate instrument arrivals/departures at affected
airports with minimum delay. The MOA shall exclude the airspace 1,500 ft AGL and below
within a 3-nautical mile radius of airports available for public use. This exclusion may be
increased, if necessary, based on unique circumstances. Military Operations Areas, in effect,
are always joint use. This means that VFR aircraft are not denied access to MOAs and IFR
aircraft may be routed through the airspace when approved separation can be provided from
MOA activity. Procedures for use of the airspace by nonparticipating IFR traffic shall be set
forth in letters of agreement between the controlling and the using agencies. There are
numerous MOAs surrounding Fort Irwin.

Controlled Firing Areas
A CFA is airspace designated to contain activities that, if not conducted in a controlled
environment, would be hazardous to nonparticipating aircraft. They provide a means to
accommodate, without impact to aviation, certain hazardous activities that can be immediately
suspended if a nonparticipating aircraft approaches the area. There is no requirement for
nonparticipating aircraft to avoid the airspace, nor are any communications or ATC separation
requirements imposed. Controlled Firing Areas are not depicted on aeronautical charts

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because the user terminates the activities when required to prevent endangering
nonparticipating aircraft. Because Fort Irwin airspace is designated as restricted areas, CFAs
are not required for live-fire artillery training within Fort Irwin airspace boundaries. Live-fire
activities conducted outside restricted areas do require CFAs.

NOTE:     All proceeding airspace maps, charts, and boundary depictions are close
approximations and were developed with graphics tools rather than GIS resources.

3.16.2     Participating Military Operations

R-2502N
Restricted area R-2502N is restricted from the surface to unlimited on a continuous basis. The
area extends east to R-2502E and west to the boarders of R-2524 and R-2515 (Figure 3.2-1).
The airspace is primarily used for live-fire, and Army and Air Force combat support training.

Whenever possible, portions of the R-2502N restricted area airspace are released for civilian
over flight. Fort Irwin releases the area at and above certain altitudes on a continual basis. Fort
Irwin released R-2502N airspace altitude of 41,000 ft (FL410) AMSL and higher for 8,760 hours
of the fiscal year ended September 30, 1999 (100 percent of the time) (Table 4.16-1). The area
was released at an altitude of 29,000 ft (FL290) AMSL or higher for 5,712 hours during the
same fiscal year (approximately 65 percent of the time). The area was released at an altitude of
24,000 ft (FL240) AMSL or higher for 5,236 hours during the same fiscal year (approximately 60
percent of the time). Excluding helicopter operations, there were 5,423 sorties recorded in R-
2502N in fiscal year 2000. Note that a given sortie may fly in several airspace areas and is
counted as a sortie in each area flown.

R-2502E
Restricted area R-2502E is restricted from the surface to unlimited on a continuous basis. The
area extends west to the boarder of R-2502N (Figure 3.2-1). The airspace is primarily used for
Army and Air Force combat support training.

The R-2502E restricted area airspace is released on a continual basis to Los Angeles ARTCC
through formal Letter of Agreement (High Desert TRACON et al. 1996). During fiscal year
1999, the area was released at a coordinated altitude of 29,000 ft (FL290) AMSL and higher for
8,760 hours (100 percent of the time) (Table 4.16-1). The area was released at a coordinated
altitude of 24,000 ft (FL240) AMSL and higher for 8,714 hours during fiscal year 1999 (99
percent of the time). This release of airspace allowed civilian operations in the Daggett Shelf
area at 24,000 ft (FL240) AMSL and above. Excluding helicopter operations, there were 5,202
sorties recorded in R-2502E in fiscal year 2000. Note that a given sortie may fly in several
airspace areas and is counted as a sortie in each area flown.




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                                GOLDSTONE
                                GOLDSTONE




                     Figure 3.16-1: Participating Military Operations Airspace



NOTE: Most of the flight activity in R-2502N and R-2502E was helicopters, the majority of which
were permanently assigned to Fort Irwin; the primary fixed-wing users were Air Force aircraft
flown in support of Air Warrior and NTC combat training operations.

Numerous military, contractor, and civilian aircraft, as well as remotely piloted vehicles operate
within R-2502N/E. Rotary-wing aircraft include: AH-1, AH-64, UH-1, UH-60, EH-60, CH-47, OH-
6, OH-58, and Bell Jet Ranger. Fixed-wing aircraft include: F-16, F-15, F-117, F-18, EA-6B, A-
10, B-1B, B-2, B-52, T-38, OA-37, OV-10, C-17, C-130, U-21, C-12, Cessna, and Lear Jet. In
the fiscal year ended September 30, 1999, a total of 85,007 air traffic control events were
recorded in R-2502N/E (Table 4.16-1).

Silver MOA
The Silver MOA is located to the east of R-2502E (Figure 3.16-1). It is scheduled through Nellis
AFB. It extends upward from 200 ft AGL to 7,000 ft AMSL and is used to support the NTC
mission and provide Air Force pilots training in close air support. Pilots use the Silver MOA to
“hold” until called into the “battle area.” Times of use are intermittent by NOTAM. Altitudes are
restricted below 3,000 ft AGL within a 3-nautical mile radius of the Baker airport (DOT 2001c).



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3.16.3     Non-Participating Military Operations

3.16.3.1   Military Training Routes
National security depends largely on the deterrent effect of our airborne military forces. To be
proficient, the military services must train in a wide range of airborne tactics. One phase of this
training involves low-altitude navigation combat tactics. The required maneuvers and high
speeds are such that they may occasionally make the “see and avoid” aspect of VFR flight more
difficult without increased vigilance. To ensure the greatest practical level of safety for all flight
operations, the MTR program was conceived.

The MTR program is a joint FAA–Department of Defense (DoD) venture. Department of
Defense and associated Reserve and Air Guard units use MTRs to conduct low-altitude tactical
navigation training in both IFR and VFR weather conditions below 10,000 ft AMSL at airspeeds
in excess of 250 knots. Military Training Routes have both vertical and lateral defined limits
(MTR route coordinates and vertical and lateral limits are defined in DoD 2002). Visual Flight
Rules MTRs are used under VFR conditions only; IFR MTRs are used under VFR and IFR
conditions. Non-participating aircraft are not prohibited from flying within an MTR; however,
extreme vigilance must be exercised when flying through or near these routes. Several VFR
and IFR MTRs are located in the airspace surrounding Fort Irwin (Figure 3.16-2).

VR-1205
Visual Route (VR)-1205 is a terrain following, low altitude route (100 to 1,500 ft AGL) used for
access into R-2515. Visual Route-1205 lies to the west of Fort Irwin within R-2524 and R-2515
airspace. It is flown from north to south through R-2524 and the Superior Valley TTR, and
enters R-2515 along its northeastern border. It is scheduled through Edwards AFB. This route
is used on an average of 91 times a year, with continuous hours of operation, by the Air Force
Flight Test Center.

VR-1214 and VR-1215
Visual Route-1214 and VR-1215 are terrain following, low altitude routes (100 to 1,500 ft AGL)
that lie to the east of Fort Irwin. These two routes follow identical paths southeast of Fort Irwin
and then diverge east of Fort Irwin (approximately 5 nautical miles northwest of the Baker
Airport) with VR-1214 continuing north to the Nevada Test and Training Range. Visual Route-
1215 continues westward to the north of Fort Irwin and provides access to several military
ranges in R-2524 (Wingate Airfield, Wingate Convoy, and Mojave “B” North, etc.). They are
scheduled through Edwards AFB, California. Visual Route-1214 is used on an average of 103
times per year, with continuous hours of operation, by the Air Force Flight Test Center. Visual
Route-1215 is used on an average of four times per year, from sunrise to sunset, by the Air
Force Flight Test Center.

VR-1217 and VR-1218
Visual Route-1217 (100 to 1,500 ft AGL) and VR-1218 (200 to 1,500 ft AGL) are low-altitude
routes used for test and training access into R-2515. They lie to the south of Fort Irwin and run
generally in an east-west direction, fly through the Barstow MOA, and terminate near the
western edge of R-2515. They are scheduled through Edwards AFB, California. Visual Route-
1217 is used on an average of two times per year, from sunrise to sunset, by the Air Force
Flight Test Center. Visual Route-1218 is used on an average of 23 times per year, from sunrise
to sunset, by the Air Force Flight Test Center.


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                              Figure 3.16-2: Military Training Routes



Visual Routes-1214, 1215, and 1218 also penetrate the Silver MOA. Flight activity on these
routes is conducted in accordance with a letter of agreement between the 412th Operations
Group at Edwards AFB, California and 57th Operations Group at Nellis AFB, Nevada.

IR-212
Instrument Flight Rules MTR Instrument Route (IR)-212 is a terrain following, low altitude route
(200 to 8,000 ft AMSL) used for access to several military ranges in R-2524 (Wingate Airfield,
Wingate Convoy, and Mojave “B” North, etc.). It approaches Fort Irwin from the east through
the Silver MOA. It joins the same routing as VR-1215 to the northeast of the NTC and also
provides access to several military ranges in R-2524 (Wingate Airfield, Wingate Convoy, and
Mojave “B” North, etc.). MCAS Miramar uses it on an average of two times per year, with
continuous hours of operation. It is scheduled through the 3rd Marine Air Wing (MAW) (G3),
Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Miramar, California.




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3.16.3.2   Naval Air Weapons Center – Weapons Division, China Lake

R-2524
Restricted Area R-2524 is restricted from surface to unlimited on a continuous basis and
encompasses the Electronic Combat Range Department (ECRD), Superior Valley, and the
Mojave “B” Range (located in the northern part of R-2524) (Figure 3.16-3). The ECRD with its
complexes, known at Echo Range, is located throughout the central and southern portions of
the restricted area and provides a simulated hostile land and sea surface-to-air weapons
                                                    -
installation. The instrumented range supports research and development (R&D), operational
                                      -
test and evaluation (OT&E), radar warning receiver systems testing, anti-radiation missile
systems testing, and electronic warfare training. Most Echo missions require full use of R-2524.
Mojave “B” Range contains two convoy targets and a simulated airfield with aircraft targets
(used with inert ordnance only).




                                   Figure 3.16-3: R-2524 Airspace



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Electronic Combat Range
The Electronic Combat Range (ECR) is located within the borders of R2524. It is managed by
the Naval Air Warfare Center-Weapons Division, China Lake Naval Air Weapons Station,
California. It was established in 1966, with its first test conducted in 1968 in support of the
Vietnam conflict. The ECR has a wide variety of threat simulations, surrogates, and actual
threat systems that provide a threat-rich environment for training and tactics development. The
excess of 1,000 square miles of restricted airspace overlying 780 square miles of Navy land in
R-2524 offer the airspace required for either single or multi aircraft events. At ECR, aircrews
performing test, evaluation, and training experience realistic, task-saturated, simulated combat
missions—the most realistic, short of actual combat. They have the opportunity in a single
mission to combat both air-to-air and surface-to-air threats and complete an air-to-ground strike
mission.

Echo Bypass
The Echo Bypass is on the eastern side of R-2524 (Figure 3.16-3). It is 4 nautical miles wide
and extends the full length (north-south) of the Restricted Area. It can be flown at low and high
altitudes at speed below 0.9 mach (1.0 mach is the speed of sound). The Echo Bypass is
scheduled by the Naval Air Warfare Center. Navy and USAF pilots use the Echo Bypass to
transition north from R-2515 into the Panamint MOA and/or south from the Panamint MOA into
R-2515 when the Trona CFA is active (see below). Altitudes are dependent on the test aircraft
using the Trona CFA—aircraft transitioning through the Echo Bypass must fly at altitudes
coordinated with China Control.

Trona Controlled Firing Area
Trona CFA is used for free-flight weapons systems testing, transiting from launch areas within
R-2505 to target areas within R-2524, and from launch areas in R-2524 to target areas within R-
2505. The FAA, through a Letter of Authorization, authorizes the Trona CFA for 1-year
intervals. By agreement with the FAA, the Trona CFA is activated for no more than 2 hours in
each time block (between 0700L–1700L, Monday through Friday) for a maximum of two time
blocks on any given day (a maximum total of 4 hours per day). The CFA is activated an
average of 36 times per year (Figure 3.16-3).

Superior Valley Tactical Training Range
Since 1996, Superior Valley Tactical Training Range (TTR) has been used on a full-time basis to
provide precision weapons delivery practice for tactical aircrew training by the Navy, the
Marines, and the Air Force. The Superior Valley TTR, located within the borders of R-2524
(Figure 3.16-3), is comprised of five primary target areas: Northwest Tactical area, Southeast
Tactical (or airfield target) area, SAM sites, scored strafe pit, and the main/conventional bulls-
eye (bulls) targets. These areas contain a variety of target types, ranging from SAM and AAA
sites, to convoys and vertical developments. Weapons typically delivered include practice
bombs, rockets, flares, chaff cartridges, and gun projectiles. Approximately 10,000 practice
bombs are dropped on this range annually.

The proposed action and preferred alternative in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for
Proposed Military Operational Increases and Implementation of Associated Comprehensive
Land Use and Integrated Natural Resources Management Plans at NAWS China Lake includes
reintroducing the use high explosives (live bombs) on the bull targets.




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                              Figure 3.16-4: Superior Valley Flight Paths



Superior Valley TTR hours of operation are Monday through Thursday, 0630-1630. One week
out of each month is designated for night (low-light) operations. However, these hours remain
flexible, depending on Fleet needs. The greatest percentage of operations involves ULT (unit
level training) out of NAS Lemoore, NAS Fallon, and MCAS Miramar with section and division
bombing. Superior Valley TTR also supports multiple unit exercises, laser targeting, search and
rescue training, and other events, which often fall outside of regular operating hours.

During fiscal year 2001, approximately 2,300 sorties were conducted in Superior Valley.
Approximately 3,000 sorties were conducted in fiscal year 2002. The proposed action and
preferred alternative for the Draft Environmental Impact Statement For Proposed Military
Operational Increases and Implementation of Associated Comprehensive Land Use and
Integrated Natural Resources Management Plans at NAWS China Lake includes a 25%
increase in the tempo of target and test site use on both North and South ranges, including
Superior Valley TTR.

Due to the location of the targets, and the safety considerations for multiple aircraft operating
simultaneously within R2524 airspace, it is critical that the airspace 5 to 10 miles to the south, in
R2515, be readily available for aircraft target run-ins and aircraft maneuvering. Figure 3.16-4
illustrates some of the profiles that are commonly used by units to access targets using the


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airspace south of Superior Valley TTR. These are typical and can vary greatly depending on
the specific time and event.

Aircraft control and deconfliction within R-2515 is provided on a “real time” basis by the Air
Force Flight Test Center (AFFTC) Radar Control Facility, call sign: SPORT (NWAC 2002).

3.16.3.3       Air Force Flight Test Center, Edwards AFB

R-2515
Restricted area R-2515 encompasses approximately 2,000 square miles and encompasses
Edwards AFB. The area extends north to the boarder of R-2524 and east to the boarder of R-
2502N (Figure 3.16-5). R-2515 is restricted from the surface to unlimited on a continuous basis.
R-2515 contains various instrumented ranges and special use areas such as spin areas,
supersonic corridors, and drop zones. Supersonic missions usually involve testing of engines,
avionics, and aircraft performance. The areas are used for a variety of flight test operations,
which require a high degree of eyes-in-the-cockpit flying. Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)
aircraft are also flown in these areas.

Black Mountain Supersonic Corridor Operations
The Black Mountain Supersonic Corridor is an elongated test area in the northern section of R-
2515. The corridor is approximately 8 nautical miles wide, 57 nautical miles long, with a small
circular extension to its southern boundary immediately northeast of Harpers Lake for
supersonic turns and maneuvers (Figure 3.16-5). The eastern portion of this corridor overlays a
portion of the proposed southwest maneuverable training expansion area. This portion of the
corridor extends in altitude from 500 ft AGL to unlimited.

Cords Road Test Area
The Cords Road Test Area is a low altitude corridor stretching about 80 miles along an east-
west alignment (Figure 3.16-5). It is used as a visual alignment reference for radar tests with
multiple target aircraft flying head-on to the test aircraft. Its western end is just north of Mojave
Airport; its eastern boundary extends to Coyote Lake, about five miles south of the existing Fort
Irwin boundary. The altitudes flown in this test area are generally 3,000 AMSL (700 ft AGL) to
35,000 ft (FL350) AMSL.

Target aircraft routinely hold in the Barstow MOA and the northeast portions of R-2515 (east of
Superior Lake) while awaiting intercept runs for air-to-air missile sensor testing.

Terrain Following Routes
There are seven single-leg Terrain Following Routes (TFRs) within the R-2508 Complex. The
route widths are centerline navigation and are approved for test use only. They can be flown in
either direction. Of the seven existing TFRs, only one (Black Mountain TFR) comes close
enough to the proposed southwest maneuverable training expansion area to deserve
evaluation.




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                                Figure 3.16-5: R-2515 Airspace Areas



Black Mountain TFR. The Black Mountain TFR is approximately 19 nautical miles long and runs
east-west (Figure 3.16-5). It is approved for supersonic tests. The last 2.5 nautical miles of the
eastern end of the route lie approximately 1 nautical mile south of the proposed southwest
maneuverable training expansion area and could be impacted by this initiative. This route was
used an average of 47 times per year during fiscal years 2000-2002.

Air Refueling Operations
The R-2508 Complex has five unpublished air refueling areas. Pilots operating in the vicinity of
the R-2508 Complex air refueling areas must use the “see and avoid” principle throughout air
refueling operations. Tanker orbit areas are not exclusive-use airspace and are not protected
from other Complex aircraft operating in the area. Pilots that observe air-refueling operations
that are not part of their activity are required to avoid the air refueling formation by at least 2,000
ft vertically and 5 miles horizontally.

R-2515 Refueling and Modified Areas. The R-2515 Refueling and Modified Areas (Figure 3.16-
6) overly portions of the southern study area (the R-2515 Refueling Area extends eastward over
the Barstow MOA and the southwesterly portions of R-2502N/E; the R-2515 Modified Refueling
Area overlies primarily R-2515). Receiver aircraft rendezvous with tanker aircraft in these



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refueling areas and conduct aerial refueling for aircrew proficiency, to support aircraft and
weapons systems testing, and to support other training and operational mission requirements.




                            Figure 3.16-6: R2515 Air Refueling Areas

Low Altitude Rotary-Wing Training Area (LARTA)
The 412th Operational Support Squadron, Edwards AFB and the G3, Fort Irwin have
designated, through a Letter of Agreement, a portion of R-2515 for Army low altitude rotary-wing
training. The LARTA is defined as that airspace within R-2515 east of U.S. Highway 395 and
north of U.S. Highway 58 from the surface up to but not including 5,000 feet AMSL. Operations
are predominately conducted below 200 feet AGL (Figure 3.16-7).

3.16.3.4   Military Operations Areas

Barstow MOA
The Barstow MOA is located south of Fort Irwin (Figure 3.16-8). It is scheduled through the
Central Coordinating Facility (CCF) at Edwards AFB. Its altitude structure is from 200 ft AGL to,
but not including, 18,000 ft (FL180) AMSL and is used by the military for flight test operations;
helicopter and fixed-wing aircraft entering, exiting, or awaiting entry into R-2502N and R-2502E;
and military traffic on VR-1217 and VR-1218. Times of use are Monday to Friday, 0600–2200
and other times by NOTAM.




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                       Figure 3.16-7: Low Altitude Rotary-Wing Training Area

Panamint MOA
The Panamint MOA is located north of Fort Irwin (Figure 3.16-8). It is scheduled by the R-2508
Central Control Facility (CCF) at Edwards AFB. It covers 200 ft AGL to, but not including,
18,000 ft (FL180) AMSL and is used by the military for operational test and evaluation, air
combat maneuvers, low-altitude training, large-scale training exercises, and low-altitude air
refueling operations in support of training exercises in support of R-2524 operations and by
China Lake and Nellis AFB units. Times of use are Monday through Friday, 0600–2200 and
other times by NOTAM. Altitudes are restricted below 1,500 ft AGL within a 3-nautical mile
radius of the Trona airport and below 3,000 ft AGL over Death Valley National Park.

Shoshone MOA
The Shoshone MOA is located to the northeast of Fort Irwin (Figure 3.16-8). It is scheduled by
the R-2508 CCF at Edwards AFB. It covers 200 ft AGL to, but not including, 18,000 ft (FL180)
AMSL and is used by the military for operational test and evaluation, air combat maneuvers,
low-altitude training, large-scale training exercises, and low-altitude air refueling operations in
support of training exercises. Times of use are Monday through Friday, 0600–2200 and other
times by NOTAM. Altitudes are restricted below 1,500 ft AGL within a 3-nautical mile radius of
the Shoshone airport and below 3,000 ft AGL over Death Valley National Park.




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                             Figure 3.16-8: Military Operations Areas




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3.16.4     Non-Military, Commercial Operations

3.16.4.1   Airways
An airway is Class E airspace established to form a transportation corridor, the centerline of
which is defined by radio navigation aids (typically VOR [VHF Omni-directional Range (radio)]
stations). Low altitude airways include the airspace within parallel boundary lines approximately
4 nautical miles each side of the centerline. High altitude jet routes have no width limits;
however, alignments are planned using protected airspace specified for VOR airways to prevent
overlapping special use airspace or the airspace protected for other jet routes. Low altitude
airways are designed to handle mainly VFR general aviation; high altitude airways are designed
to handle mainly IFR commercial jet aviation

Low Altitude Airway
Unless otherwise specified, low altitude airways include airspace extending upward from 1,200
ft AGL to, but not including 18,000 ft (FL180) AMSL. Low altitude airway V394 (Figure 3.16-9)
extends from the Daggett VORTAC to the Las Vegas VORTAC 6 nautical miles to the southeast
of and parallel to the southeast boundaries of R-2502E and the Shoshone MOA on heading of
31º/211º. Airway V394 accommodates primarily air traffic arriving into the Los Angeles basin.
On a typical 24-hour weekday in February 2001, V394 had a total of 131 flights.

High Altitude Airways
High altitude airways extend from 18,000 ft (FL180) AMSL up to 45,000 ft (FL450) AMSL.
Contiguous airways J9/J100/J146 (Figure 3.16-10) extend from the Daggett VORTAC to the Las
Vegas VORTAC on headings of 31º/211º. These airways parallel the southeast boundaries of
R-2502E and Shoshone MOA 6 nautical miles to the southeast or R-2502E. On a typical 24-
hour weekday in February 2001, J9/J100/J146 had a total of 438 flights.

High altitude airways J9, J100, and J146 primarily accommodate air traffic departing the Los
Angeles basin. High altitude airways J60, J64, and J107 primarily accommodate air traffic
arriving into the Los Angeles basin.




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                               Figure 3.16-9: Low Altitude Airways




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                               Figure 3.16-10: High Altitude Airways




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3.16.4.2   Daggett Shelf
The Daggett Shelf consists of Barstow East Air Traffic Control Assigned Airspace (ATCAA), R-
2502E, and the portion of R-2508 that overlies R-2502E at 24,000 ft (FL240) AMSL and above
(Figure 3.16-11). The Daggett Shelf was established by a Letter of Agreement to provide FAA
relief for control of IFR traffic through the busy Daggett/Hector corridor (High Desert TRACON,
R-2508 CCB 2001). The Daggett Shelf, along with Shoshone South ATCAA airspace, remains
under Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC) control until High Desert Terminal Radar
Approach Control (TRACON) requests and receives control of the airspace for military use. By
Letter of Procedure, the ARTCC must return the use of the Daggett Shelf airspace back to the
military within 15 minutes of TRACON’s return request.




                                   Figure 3.16-11: Daggett Shelf

3.16.5     Non-Military, General Aviation Operations
General aviation jet operations (typically corporate/private jets and/or jet charter service) tend to
use similar airspace as commercial jets under IFR at altitudes above 18,000 ft (FL180) AMSL.

General aviation piston-driven aircraft typically operate under VFR or IFR at altitudes below
10,000 ft AMSL. General aviation piston-driven aircraft, primarily traffic flying between the Los
Angeles and Las Vegas areas, currently use the airspace near the proposed new restricted
airspace. There are no accurate counts for general aviation VFR traffic.

3.16.6     Other Federal Operations

3.16.6.1   Goldstone Operations
The Goldstone Deep Space Communications Complex is one of three sites that make up the
NASA’s Deep Space Network (DSN). The other two communications sites are located near

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Madrid, Spain and Canberra, Australia. They are purposely sited in areas that are far from
heavily populated areas so that the very weak signals from distant spacecraft will not be
contaminated or obscured by radio interference from such sources as power lines, radio and TV
stations, and household and industrial appliances.


The DSN’s sophisticated earth-based communications system is an essential component for
controlling spacecraft operating modes, loading software and reprogramming spacecraft
computers, transmitting spacecraft navigation commands, and receiving scientific data
transmitted back to earth. Goldstone also contains a number of extremely powerful transmitters
used for spacecraft communications (up to 400 kilowatts) and planetary body tracking radars




                 Figure 3.16-12: Goldstone Deep Space Communications Complex
(up to 520 kilowatts).

The Goldstone Deep Space Communications Complex is located near the southwestern corner
of R-2502N (Figures 3.16-1 and 3.16-12). Due to radiation hazards and aircraft-caused RF
(radio frequency) interference potential, aircraft overflights below 15,000 ft AMSL are not
allowed.




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NASA-7 Flights
Each week on Tuesday and Thursday, NASA flies a Beechcraft Beech 200 Super King Air
support aircraft—designated as NASA-7—between the Burbank California Airport and
Goldstone. The aircraft departs Burbank Airport at approximately 0700; the return flight departs
Goldstone at approximately 1640. Flight time between the two locations is approximately 40
minutes.

The purpose of NASA-7 is to transport Jet Propulsion Laboratory personnel and contractors to
Goldstone in support of Goldstone’s operations and administrative tasks. The aircraft
approaches Goldstone from the southwest through R-2515 and Goldstone airspace (which is
part of R-2502N). The flight path through R-2515 to the Goldstone airstrip is directly over the
proposed southern maneuverable training expansion area. The transition into Goldstone
airspace occurs at the R-2515/R-2502N border just south of the Goldstone airstrip. To perform
its mission, NASA-7 must continue to have access to the Goldstone airstrip.

High-Power Transmitters
Goldstone’s 70-meter antenna possesses an extremely powerful transmitter used for spacecraft
communications (up to 400 kilowatts) and two planetary body-tracking radars (up to 520
kilowatts). Before any of these transmitters are used, airspace coordination takes place with a
host of airspace users. Maps are published and pilots are advised to avoid the beam from
Goldstone’s 70-meter antenna.

Goldstone has airspace priority when a high power transmitter is needed during a spacecraft
emergency. For planetary body radars, airspace conflicts have been rare, but occasionally
result in cancellation of Goldstone radar tracking missions. When the radar beam tracks space
objects in the southern hemisphere particularly at low angles, the radar beam could impact
medium to high-altitude aircraft flying over the proposed southwest maneuverable training
expansion area (see example in Figure 3.16-13). There has not been a cancellation of
Goldstone radar due to an airspace conflict with Fort Irwin in at least the past 15 years.

Overflights
Due to radiation hazards and the potential for aircraft-caused radio frequency interference,
aircraft overflights below 15,000 ft AMSL are not allowed. Overflights above 15,000 ft AMSL
must be coordinated with the R-2508 CCF.




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                       Figure 3.16-13: Goldstone Radiation Avoidance Area




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Overflights above 15,000 ft AMSL are not allowed whenever Goldstone is operating a high
power transmitter in excess of 105 kilowatts or during critical spacecraft events. The proposed
NTC Fort Irwin maneuverable training expansion area places Goldstone between Fort Irwin and
the proposed southwestern maneuver expansion area. A straight-line transit route from the
north part of Fort Irwin to the proposed southwestern maneuverable training expansion area
would over-fly Goldstone. Goldstone must be assured that the proposed NTC maneuverable
training expansion plan will not cause unauthorized overflights.

Electromagnetic Emissions
The receivers at each of Goldstone’s antennas receive extremely weak radio and radar energy
from deep space—any outside RF energy could significantly impact the Goldstone mission.
The closer NTC ground and air exercise activity approaches the Goldstone boundaries, the
more likely there would be for electromagnetic interference to the Goldstone radio and radar
receivers.

To establish fundamental policies and responsibilities concerning electromagnetic interference
and safety, NASA and DoD entered into a Memorandum of Understanding for Compatible
Operations in the Mojave Desert Area. This memorandum became effective on February 5,
2002 and will end on December 31, 2006 unless renewed by the signatories.

3.17 Hazardous Materials and Solid Waste
Hazardous materials and substances are identified and regulated under the Comprehensive
Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), the Resource
Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), the Solid Waste Disposal Act (SWDA), and the
Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA). In California, hazardous
materials and substances are generally recognized under Title 22 of the California Code of
Regulations. They are defined as any substance that, due to quantity, concentration, physical,
chemical, or infectious characteristic, may present substantial danger to public health, welfare,
or the environment when released. Examples of hazardous materials include petroleum, natural
gas, synthetic gas, toxic chemicals, and low-level radioactive sources, such as compasses and
gauges. Hazardous wastes that are regulated under RCRA are defined as any solid, liquid,
contained gaseous or semisolid waste, or any combination of wastes that either exhibit one or
more hazardous characteristic of ignitability, corrosivity, toxicity or reactivity, or are listed as a
hazardous waste under 40 CFR Part 261 (RCRA, Determining Solid and Hazardous Wastes).
The term solid waste is used to define non-hazardous waste and materials resulting from
domestic refuse, mining operations, vegetative debris from clearing of land, sewage sludge, and
building debris.

3.17.1     Hazardous Waste and Materials
Hazardous waste and materials used by the Army are managed under Army Regulation (AR)
200-1, Environmental Regulation and Enhancement, 1997, which covers environmental
protection and enhancement for Active Army, Army National Guard, U.S. Army Reserve, and
civil works activities that are under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Fort
Irwin presently has policies and procedures to minimize potential for such releases or other
damage to the environment from hazardous materials. This system is based on a hazardous
materials pharmacy (HAZMART), or issue point, as the Hazardous Material Management
Control Center (HMMCC), except for ammunition and pyrotechnics munitions.                  Army
Regulations strictly control accountability, use, and disposal of these items. The primary
objective of the HAZMART is to provide life cycle management of hazardous materials and the

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