Air Force: Review of low-level flights to finish in 2012 |

Air Force: Review of low-level flights to finish in 2012

The Associated Press
Aspen, CO Colorado

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The U.S. Air Force expects to complete a final environment assessment of proposed low-level flight routes in northern New Mexico and southern Colorado early next year.

Cannon Air Force Base officials told a New Mexico legislative committee earlier this week that they’ve made changes to the proposed tactical navigation practice routes based on public comments.

For instance, planes will fly at a minimum of 300 feet instead of 200 feet. And a revised map cuts out northern New Mexico’s population corridor along the Rio Grande from Albuquerque through Santa Fe to Taos. It also exempts eastern Colorado, including Colorado Springs, Pueblo and the plains to the east.

The Albuquerque Journal says Col. Larry Munz told lawmakers 17 public forums and more than 1,800 comments were collected.

One of the forums took place in Aspen in October, as boundary of the proposed nighttime flights stretches as far north as the mountains surrounding Aspen. Pitkin County commissioners subsequently urged a more thorough review, an Environmental Impact Statement, to analyze the proposal.