Eglin Overhauls Flying Operations

Officials at Eglin AFB, Fla., announced a “major revision” to the base’s noise abatement and safety procedures that they say will have a “significant” effect on military flight operations there. Eglin is home to the F-35 schoolhouse. “The new procedures apply to any aircraft launched from Eglin, Duke, or Hurlburt Fields,” said Col. Donald Johnson, the 96th Operations Group commander, in a May 17 base release. They apply to aircraft “whether permanently assigned or on temporary duty, as well as transient aircraft that regularly use the air space for test or training,” he said. The revision to the base’s formal instruction, EAFBI 11-201, is intended to improve safety, while also minimizing noise levels for the surrounding community. For example, officials have increased the minimum flight altitude for all jets and propeller and tiltrotor aircraft to 1,500 feet from 1,000 feet over “highly populated areas” within Eglin’s airspace, states the release. They’ve also reduced thrust levels for takeoff. “Our procedure is to use afterburner up to 300 knots air speed and then reduce power to continue the climb away from the ground,” said Johnson. “We need to be aware of how much noise we are generating.” (Eglin report by Lois Walsh)