Low-flying Training Flights Over Southern Colorado

Air Force Proposes Low-flying Training Flights Over Northern New Mexico and Southern Colorado

Taos, New Mexico, September 22, 2010.

Cannon Air Force Base gave public notice on September 3rd that it plans to perform an “environmental assessment” for future low-altitude aircraft training in Northern New Mexico and Southern Colorado – and it wants public feedback by Monday, October 4, 2010.
The Air Force seeks to establish a Low Altitude Tactical Navigation (LATN) training airspace for Special Operations Forces now located at Cannon Air Force Base.
According to the notice, “Current missions require training in varied mountainous terrain and desert-like environments. The Air Force selected the proposed LATN area due to the lack of large civilian populations, proximity to Cannon AFB and varied topography which provide realistic training for various types of C-130 and CV-22 Osprey aircrews.” (The C-130 is a very large and very loud propeller-driven cargo plane and the CV-22 Osprey is a smaller loud prop-driven plane with hovering capability. Both are able to carry extensive surveillance equipment and/or weaponry.)
The proposal specifies approximately three training flights per day, approximately 688 per year, at a minimum 200 feet above ground level at airspeeds below 250 knots. The majority of flights would occur on weeknights after dusk.
At present, no specific routes in the area have been identified, so conceivably they could be as far west as Farmington, Durango, and Grand Junction; as far east as Trinidad and La Junta; as far north as Aspen and Colorado Springs; and as far south as Santa Fe and Albuquerque. It is simply not known.
The Peaceful Skies Coalition, a citizens group formed in Taos on September 15th, is against the Air Force LATN Proposal for a variety of reasons including disruption of wildlife, disruption of ranching, farming, quiet lifestyle and economy, as well as intensive aviation fuel contamination of our clean air, land and water.
All residents in the proposed New Mexico/Colorado LATN area who would like to help are invited to join the Peaceful Skies Coalition. The formation of local chapters of Peaceful Skies Coalition is encouraged; please contact Cliff Bain to coordinate efforts. A meeting will be held in Taos this Monday, September 27th at 6:30 pm at the Don Fernando Hall on Civic Plaza Drive and Placitas. Everyone is invited to attend.
The Coalition suggests the following actions:

1) Inform your fellow citizens about the flyover plan and the October 4th deadline. 

2) Request an extension of the October 4th deadline for comments by contacting: Cannon AFB Public Affairs Office, 110 E. Sextant Ave., Suite 1150, Cannon AFB, NM 88103.  Phone: 575 784-4131  Email: 27SOWpublicaffairs@cannon.af.mil
3) Download Air Force SCOPE forms to send your comments by October 4th. Go to
   http://www.cannon.af.mil to download Comment Forms.
4) Contact your Congressmen stating your position and asking theirs on the proposed plan.
Peaceful Skies Coalition
Cliff Bain
575  770-2167
bain@newmex.com

See also,
http://taosnews.com/articles/2010/09/09/news/doc4c87df96c8d27265302824.txt and
http://www.durangoherald.com/sections/News/2010/09/21/Group_opposes_military_flights/
http://www.cannon.af.mil/shared/media/document/AFD-100820-041.pdf