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Tipton Works to Protect Military High-Altitude Aviation Training

June 14, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. Today, Representative Scott Tipton (CO-03) introduced a bill and a resolution that protects and recognizes the military’s high-altitude aviation training in Colorado.

Tipton’s bill, H.R. 3247, would codify existing Department of Defense (DoD) guidance for aircraft flying over Colorado wilderness areas.

The resolution, H. Res. 440, amplifies Colorado’s role in military aviation training, including the training being conducted at the High-Altitude Army National Guard Aviation Training Site (HAATS), which is DoD’s sole training school for high-altitude aviation training for the rotary-wing aviators to learn how to safely navigate over mountainous regions. It recognizes that military aviation training in Colorado is critically important to the national security interests of the United States and the readiness of our armed forces.

“Colorado plays a critical role in providing military aviators unique environments to simulate real-world combat scenarios, and I am proud to have such an important training facility in Colorado’s Third Congressional District,” said Tipton. “HAATS in Gypsum provides necessary training for military pilots around the world, and these pieces of legislation show our support for the men and women who keep us safe.”

Currently, DoD guidance recommends military aircraft maintain an altitude of at least 2,000 ft above federal designated wilderness areas. Tipton’s legislation would codify the Colorado exception, allowing for military aircraft to deviate from the 2,000 ft requirement to ensure safe transit through Colorado’s mountainous wilderness areas in situations when low oxygen, icing, weather, or other mechanical issues might affect an aircraft’s ability to maintain the service level requirements.

“If we do not codify the Colorado exception into law, future administrations would be free to change the guidance at will, negatively impacting military aviation training missions in Colorado,” Tipton added. “It is important for our men and women in uniform conducting aviation training in Colorado to have certainty and stability.” 

The full text of the bill can be found here and the resolution here.