North Dakota skies choked by MOA constrictor

The North Dakota Aeronautics Commission is keen to keep the Bowman airport open, as the Air Force is planning an ill-timed major expansion of restricted airspace in southwest North Dakota.

Despite a major rush, or boom even, in civil air traffic in the area, the Air Force plans to appropriate the skies of 8 North Dakota counties to expand a training area that until now has been a ways into Montana, Wyoming, and South Dakota.

Most states have one or two MOAs that civilian planes have to steer clear of — there’s a major one in northeast North Dakota, north of the Spirit Lake region.  But why the Air Force needs yet more of the sky is puzzling. Has there been a buying spree in bombers and fighters I’m not aware of?  Last I heard the Air Force was mainly being cut.

Anyone who looks at an airspace map of southwestern North Dakota airspace can see that it’s a lot of wide-open county. Sure, there’s a lot of room for everyone. But just taking it for a MOA without giving anything back to civil airspace on the other side is just another appropriation of a public good, for the limited benefit of the few.

One thought on “North Dakota skies choked by MOA constrictor

  1. MOA’s are all not that restrictive, all VFR aircraft really have to do is advise the ATC agency who has purvue over that airspace before going through it.

    If it’s restricted airspace, than, I’d be more worried.

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