Leonardtown, MD – St. Mary’s County Government and Naval Air Station Patuxent River have inked a formal agreement formally coordinating the use of restricted airspace.

The agreement, signed during a joint meeting between the Commissioners of St. Mary’s County and the NAS Patuxent River Commanding Officer, last updated on October 29, 2007, calls for a review by both parties each year to evaluate its effectiveness and determine if modifications are needed.

Naval Air Station Patuxent River controls the Restricted Airspace adjacent to the traffic pattern of the St. Mary’s County Regional Airport. The high volume of manned and unmanned aircraft
operating within the airspace mandates strict adherence to the operational requirements of the agreement.

“The agreement documents the need to preserve the safety of all aircraft operating in the restricted airspace of the Base,” said John Deatrick, Public Works and Transportation Director. “This
agreement reinforces the rule that to avoid conflicts with aircraft from the Base, any aircraft using the St. Mary’s County Regional Airport must fly below 1,000 feet to arrive or depart through the airspace.”

Without the agreement, operations at the county’s airport would be severely hampered because planes could not arrive and depart from the south and east.

“This is just another example of our continued partnership with NAS Pax River,” said Commissioner President Randy Guy. “Both St. Mary’s County and Pax River work hard each and every day to ensure the safety of aircraft and pilots using the St. Mary’s County Regional Airport.”

The agreement denotes the county’s responsibility of properly briefing all pilots using the airport of the restriction imposed by the agreement.