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Posted: Friday, December 27th, 2013 11:33 AM HST

Army aims to build new Pohakuloa landing zones

By Associated Press

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii (AP) The Army wants to build four new helicopter landing zones on Mauna Loa's northern slope to give aviation unit soldiers more high-altitude training.

West Hawaii Today reports the new zones would be built about 8,500 feet to 8,800 feet above sea level within Pohakuloa Training Area.

Pohakuloa's landing zones would increase to 35 from 31 if the plan is approved.

An environmental assessment says the Army doesn't plan to increase its training flights once the landing zones are built. The Army estimates 10 percent of Pohakuloa training flights would use the new landing zones.

The Army says it needs the new zones to prepare soldiers to complete their missions and to enable them to meet proficiency requirements for operating in mountainous, high-altitude areas.

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