Photo Courtesy NASA

Photo Courtesy NASA

NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility is working closely with the Federal Aviation Administration on a proposal to expand the facility’s controlled airspace in support of current and potential future operations.

To facilitate public discussion on the proposal, Wallops is extending the public comment period on its draft environmental assessment through Sept. 1, 2016.

Additionally, Wallops will host two public information sessions from 5 to 7 p.m. on both Thursday, Aug. 4, and Thursday, Aug. 11, at the Wallops Visitors Center. Subject matter experts on the airspace proposal, Wallops range and airfield operations, as well as the facility’s environmental officials will staff information booths during each session.

“Over the past few weeks, it’s become clear there is great interest in this initiative among many members of our community, particularly among local aviators and the farming community,” said Jeremy Eggers, NASA Wallops communications chief. “NASA has a long history supporting the needs of the general aviation community, and this expansion has been specifically designed to have minimal impact to surrounding civil air traffic while allowing NASA to meet flight test objectives.”

Use of the expanded controlled airspace would be infrequent and for short periods of time only as needed for safety during flight operations. When not in use, the airspace will be returned to local controlling agencies and opened to all air traffic. Wallops would work with local pilots on procedures to ensure local operations, such as crop dusting and mosquito spraying, could continue during times when the airspace is activated.

The public comment period on the draft environmental assessment opened July 1. For more information on the proposal, please see: