New regulations may affect Copalis airport

COPALIS, Wash. – Pilots and passengers traveling to Copalis Beach State Airport should be aware of future regulations and procedures for flying over the wildlife refuge area located northwest of the airport.

Recently, the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (OCNMS) published new flight regulations over wildlife refuge areas for the Channel Islands, Monterey Bay, Gulf of the Farallones, and Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuaries.

As a result, the OCNMS and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will publish improved, fly-friendly approach and departure procedures for the Copalis Beach State Airport. These procedures will help to protect sensitive wildlife located within the refuge area near Copalis and provide pilots with important safety guidance.

Based on recent discussions with the OCNMS, the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT), who manages the airport, anticipates minimal impacts. Pilots should expect changes in the form of improved aircraft approach and departure procedures.

OCNMS will coordinate with WSDOT to develop the fly-friendly procedures. The procedures will also undergo a public comment period, to be determined at a later date.

The Federal Aviation Administration will also update aeronautical sectional charts to provide pilots with improved procedural guidance for flying over these wildlife refuge areas.

For more information contact Paul Wolf, WSDOT state airport manager, at 360-651-6313.

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