Fort Bragg Air Space Issues

1024px-US-FederalAviationAdmin-Seal.svgAt the RLUAC quarterly meeting conducted on August 21st Mr.  David Yow, Fort Bragg’s DPTMS Air Operations and Plans Officer, explained that the purpose of his presentation was to provide an overview of the National Airspace System to better equip the local decision makers regarding the impacts of their decisions on aviation in central North Carolina.  Airfields are the portals to the nation’s airspace.  The FAA is responsible for all the airspace in the US to improve the safety of flight, the users and the public in the air and on the ground.  Basically, there are two types of airspace -- Controlled and Uncontrolled.  These designations are further organized into classes:

  • Class A – This designation applies to all airspace in CONUS from 18,000 feet t 60,000 feet.  Instrument flight rules only (jet aircraft live here).
  • Class B – This designation is the airspace around the nineteen busiest airports in the country (ie,. Los Angeles, New York, Charlotte, Atlanta).
  • Class C – This designation applies to the airspace around congested air traffic airports.  It requires radar control.  It is limited to non-participating aircraft (ie, Raleigh/Durham, Pope AAF, Fayetteville, Greensboro).
  • Class D – This designation applies to airspace within five statute miles around an airport with an operating control tower.  Air traffic control provides visual separation of traffic (ie, Simmons AAF, Mackall AAF, New Bern).
  • Class E – This designation includes controlled airspace where some type of protection is needed (Instrument approaches, airways, extension of surface areas).
  • Class G – This designation applies to all uncontrolled airspace (meaning that it is not one of the above classifications).

Yow went on to explain that the FAA has also designated Special Use Airspace which is as follows:

  • Prohibited Area – This designation involves “no-fly” airspace that is established for security
  • reasons or national welfare (ie., Camp David, Mt.. Vernon, the Washington DC Mall area.
  • Restricted Area – This is airspace where dangerous activities occur and where unauthorized aircraft may not enter (Fort Bragg Range area)
  • Alert Area – This is airspace where unusual aircraft operations or dense pilot training occurs on a regular basis (Uwharrie Forest)
  • Military Operation Area (MOA) – These identified areas of airspace serve to separate military aircraft operations from commercial aviation.  These are cautionary areas – not prohibitive.
  • Warning Area – This is airspace over international waters that FAA has no control over, but alerts pilots to the potential for hazardous activity.  Examples of this type of airspace includes Naval gunfire, missile and rocket launch areas.
  • Military Training Routs – These are one-way high speed routes for military traffic flights below 10,000 feet.  They involve visual instrument control. In built up (urban areas) aircraft cannot fly at less than 1,000 feet.  In rural areas aircraft can fly at 500 feet.  

In conclusion Yow said that there are some restrictions as to how tall structures can be built near the Fort Bragg boundaries -- so that the structures do not interfere with air traffic involved in training on the post.  For the integrity of the fort as a viable training facility, local governments (with jurisdiction surrounding the military complex) need to work with the military airspace managers to minimize potential future conflicts.

Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Use at Fort Bragg

uav2At the RLUAC quarterly meeting conducted on February 20th, Fort Bragg’s David Yow (DPTMS Air Operations and Plans Officer) and Camille Cole (Head of the Master Planning Branch) described the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV’s) currently deployed at and coming to the post.  

They began by defining the difference between “drones” and “UAV’s”.  Although the media routinely refers to all unmanned aerial vehicles as “drones”, there is a significant difference.  Drones fly without any control inputs from an operator after being launched, while UAV’s are under continuous control during flight via radio, or satellite – either directly or via computer.

UAV’s already operating at Fort Bragg include the “Raven”, the “Puma” and the “Shadow”.  All three of these UAV’s are relatively small and are used by the military for surveillance and recognizance purposes.  

  • RQ – 11 “Raven” - Hand launched - Manufacturer:  AeroVironment; Weight:  ~1.9kg (4.2lb); Powerplant: Elec. Motor; Flight Endurance: ~80 minutes; Effective Operational Radius:  ~ 10km (6.2 SM); Cruise: 32km/h to 81km/h (16.5 kts to 44 kts);  Operational Altitude: 30m to 152m (100 ft to 500 ft)
  • FQM M-151 “Puma” (USMC UAS) – Hand launched - Manufacturer:  AeroVironment; Weight:  ~ 13 lbs (5.9 kg); Powerplant: Elec. Motor; Flight Endurance: ~ 2 hours; Effective operational radius:  ~ 15 km (9 miles); Cruise: 37-83 km/h, 20 to 45 knots; Operational Altitude: 500 ft (152 m) AGL
  • RQ-7B “Shadow” – Released from a mobile launcher - Manufacturer:  AAI Corporation; Weight: 170kg (375 lbs); Powerplant: 38 hp Wankel Eng. (100LL/87); Flight Endurance: 5.5 Hrs; Effective operational radius: 109 km (68 SM); Cruise: 148km/h to 250km/h (80kt to 135kt); Operational Altitude: 8,000ft

The Army has finalized plans to station its largest and most sophisticated UAV, the “Gray Eagle” at Camp Mackall.  The Gray Eagle is about the size of a Cessna manned aircraft and is capable of being armed with missiles and bombs.  However, at this time the military has no plans to arm the Gray Eagles based at Camp Mackall.

  • MQ-1C “Gray Eagle” – Take-off and landing requiring a 5,000’ runway - Manufacturer:  General Atomics; Weight: 3,600 lbs (1,633 kg); Powerplant: 165 HP Turboprop (JP-8); Flight Endurance: 30 hours; Effective operational radius: 109 km (68 SM); Cruise: 115 knots; Operational Altitude: 15,000 to 18,000ft; Armament: Missiles: 4 × AGM-114 Hellfire; 8 × AIM-92 Stinger; Bombs:  4 × GBU-44/B Viper Strike

Construction is due to begin in the near future on the hanger, barracks, and runway improvements necessary to house and maintain the new UAV’s.  Work is expected to be completed at Camp Mackall and the “Gray Eagles” operational by March of 2016.

RLUAC 2013 Annual Report

  1. On Thursday April 16th, the RLUAC Board of Directors released its progress report for 2013.  The following is the list of RLUAC's accomplishments:
  2. 1.MOST SIGNIFICANT ACCOMPLISHMENT – RLUAC initiated successful efforts with State Representatives Rick Glazier and David Lewis to revise/amend Session Law 2004-75 “An Act to Require Counties and Cities Near Military Bases to Give Notice of Land Us Planning Changes to the Military Bases” with Session Law 2013-59 “Zoning Changes/ Notice to Military Bases”. RLUAC’s successful efforts involved eliminating the “Certified Mail” military notification requirement, and expanding the coverage of the law to include military notification of  proposed telecom towers, windmills, and subdivisions to be located within five miles of  military boundaries..
  1. 2.LAND USE REVIEWS RLUAC conducted reviews of 116 zoning, subdivision, and telecom tower cases involving property located within five miles of the Fort Bragg / Camp Mackall boundaries:
  • Cumberland County     24 Cases
  • City of Fayetteville       57 Cases
  • Town of Falcon               1 Case
  • Town of Godwin             1 Case
  • Harnett County                 5 Cases
  • Hoke County                   6 Cases
  • Moore County               12 Cases
  • Town of Southern Pines 9 Cases
  • Town of Wade                 1 Case
  1. 3. QUARTERLY MEETINGS – RLUAC conducted two Board of Directors’ Meetings and four quarterly meetings of the full Commission on February 21st, May 16th, August 15th, and November 21st. Attendance averaged approximately 33 people per meeting. Meeting topics and presentations included the following:
  • “Potential for Military Friendly Legislation in the NC General Assembly in 2013” by State Representatives Rick Glazier and David Lewis
  • “Update Concerning Recently Completed Survey of the Fort Bragg Boundaries” by Kirk Rutkofske a Fort Bragg GIS Specialist
  • “North Carolina Sandhills Conservation Outreach Plan” by Susan Miller from the US Fish and Wildlife Service
  • “Fort Bragg Regional Alliance Updates and Progress Report” by Greg Taylor the Executive Director of the Fort Bragg Regional Alliance
  • “Benefits of Solar Farms as an Industry in North Carolina” by Stephen Kalland the Executive Director of the NC Solar Center at NC State University
  • “Issues Involving Gun Firing Ranges and Possible Techniques for Regulating Them” by Mark Locklear the Harnett County Director of Planning Services and Randy Baker the Harnett County Zoning Officer
  • “Fort Bragg Construction Updates” by Greg Bean the Director of the Fort Bragg Directorate of Public Works
  • “Preliminary Report for the ‘Fort Bragg Region Sustainable Growth Management Strategy’ “ by Kate Pierce of the Land Design Company
  • Participated in the quarterly meetings of the NC Sandhills Conservation Partnership
  • Participated in meetings of the North Carolina Advisory Commission for Military Affairs
  • Participated in Fort Bragg Regional Alliance work sessions for their “Fort Bragg Region Sustainable Growth Management Strategy”
  • Participated in the “Moore County Water Summit”
  • Participated in the Mid Carolina Council of Governments Annual Banquet
  • Participated in the Hoke / Cumberland County Transportation Subcommittee meetings
  • Participated in a meeting with the “NC Mountains to the Sea Trail” group – to encourage the use of the RLUAC sponsored “All American Trail”
  • Participated in a meeting of the “Cumberland Cultural Arts Feasibility Study

Upcoming Events

RLUAC Quarterly Meeting

Date: Thursday February 15, 2024

Time: 1:30 pm

Location: Village of Pinehurst Cannon Park Community Center  (210 Rattlesnake Trail, Pinehurst, NC 28374)