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The EA/OEA focused only on those resources with potential impacts relevant to the Mariana Islands Range Complex (MIRC) Airspace and the proposed Farallon de Medinilla (FDM) Danger Zone and that are not included in the 2010 MIRC EIS/OEIS. Circumstances or information that have not changed since the MIRC Record of Decision were not reexamined. The environmental resource areas that were reviewed in the EA/OEA include Public Health and Safety, Transportation Resources, Regional Economy, and Recreation. The Navy did not reconsider the decisions made in the MIRC Record of Decision, but rather presented new information relevant to the proposed changes and associated analyses provided in the 2010 MIRC EIS/OEIS.

As required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), alternatives to the Proposed Action must be considered. However, only those alternatives determined to be reasonable relative to their ability to fulfill the need for the Proposed Action require detailed analysis. Three alternatives were carried forward for analysis in this EA/OEA.

Under the No Action Alternative, training activities as defined by the 2010 MIRC EIS/OEIS and Record of Decision would continue as currently implemented or authorized, with no change to the existing 3 nautical mile (nm) Restricted Area (R-7201) or the planned 10 nm danger zone at FDM.

Under Alternative 1, existing airspace within the MIRC would be modified to optimize public safety and training efficiency. The Navy proposes to do the following:

  • Extend the Restricted Area (R-7201) at FDM from 3 nm to 12 nm and designate the new restricted area as R-7201A;
  • Create new Warning Areas (W)—designated as W-11, W-12, and W 13—thereby replacing existing air traffic control assigned airspace (ATCAA) 1, 2, and 3.

Under Alternative 2 (chosen as the Navy’s Preferred Alternative for implementation of the Proposed Action), airspace within the MIRC would be modified as described under Alternative 1. In addition, the planned 10 nm Danger Zone around FDM (analyzed in the MIRC EIS/OEIS) would be expanded to 12 nm (congruent with proposed R-7201A). Read more about The Navy’s Proposed Action.

The Navy analyzed the potential environmental impacts of three alternatives in the EA/OEA. Click here to view the Study Area for the EA/OEA.

No Action Alternative
  • Continue as currently authorized and implemented by the 2010 MIRC EIS/OEIS
Alternative 1
  • Modify existing military airspace and establish new airspace (see map) for public safety and training efficiency by:
    • Extending the Restricted Area (R-7201) at FDM from 3 nautical miles to 12 nautical miles and designating the new area as R-7201A (requires FAA rulemaking)
    • Creating new Warning Areas to replace existing Air Traffic Control Assigned Airspace (does not require FAA rulemaking)
Alternative 2
  • Modify and extend airspace as described under Alternative 1
  • Expand the planned 10 nautical mile danger zone (sea space) around FDM (as analyzed in the MIRC EIS/OEIS) to 12 nautical miles (see map)