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South-Central Florida Metroplex procedures take effect April 22

The 54 new satellite-based procedures will include arrivals and departures for five commercial airports and 16 general aviation airports, the FAA said. Of those, 37 procedures will be effective right away; the remaining 17 procedures will be subject to notams delaying their availability until August 12 because of the need for automation upgrades and additional training of air traffic controllers.

August 12 is also the date when the second phase of the South-Central Florida Metroplex is scheduled for implementation, with 93 procedures taking effect (including the 17 procedures held over from April 22) completing the FAA’s rollout of 11 metroplex initiatives in the national airspace system, a modernization effort that began in 2012.

Public input on the metroplex project included 29 public workshops and two public comment periods in 2019 and 2020, as well as the FAA responding to 3,239 comments on the project’s final environmental assessment.

AOPA has played a role in advancing the metroplex projects, while advocating for the needs of the GA community, as a member of several airspace-user working groups that reviewed metroplex procedures and designs.

“Metroplex initiatives are a key component of a modernized and improved national airspace system,” said Jim McClay, AOPA director of airspace, air traffic, and security.

McClay urged AOPA members who expect to conduct flights in metroplex airspace to review the newly published terminal procedures and RNAV routes, and to check notams frequently for updates or amendments in the coming months.

While the metroplex is expected to produce long-lasting gains in efficiency and safety, AOPA will continue to engage with the FAA for additional planning to manage short-term spikes in air traffic volume such as those that can occur during holiday periods, as was the case at the end of 2020, McClay said.

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