Senators Daines and Tester, along with Representative Ryan Zinke, recently called on the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to quickly address Montanans’ concerns with the proposed Powder River Training Complex expansion.

In a letter to FAA Administrator Michael Huerta, the delegation made clear that the Air Force’s failure to mitigate Montanans’ concerns regarding general aviation safety and the expansion’s impact on southeastern Montana was unacceptable, and demanded that additional mitigations be made before the FAA signs off on the proposal.

“We are deeply troubled that the Air Force did not adequately resolve the numerous concerns expressed by Montanans prior to issuing its Record of Decision for the proposal,” the delegation wrote. “We believe it is paramount that the Federal Aviation Administration prioritize general aviation safety and demand additional mitigations as it reviews the proposal.”

The delegation also conveyed that substantial portions of the PR-3 Military Operations Area lack sufficient radar and communications coverage. Given PR-3’s proximity to the Bakken oil region, the expansion could exacerbate general aviation safety and economic development concerns in the region.