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4.02 Unclear Wording


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I believe the current wording of 4.02 (in the most recent revised draft released on 10/27) is somewhat unclear. The current wording is:

A Sub-Division or Division may designate at least one but not more than 30% (rounded down) of all controllable aerodromes and terminal facilities, whichever is higher, within that Sub-Division or Division as Restricted Airspace.

I feel the phrasing "may designate at least one" might unintentionally convey that a Sub-Division or Division is expected or even required to "designate at least one" aerodrome or terminal facility as Restricted Airspace. Even if a strict 'letter of the law' reading of the rule may reveal this not to be the case, I feel that the intent of the rule would be better conveyed as such:

A Sub-Division or Division may, but is not required to, designate at least one but not more than 30% (rounded down) of controllable aerodromes and terminal facilities, whichever is higher, within that Sub-Division or Division as Restricted Airspace.

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You may be right... but....

"May" is used in every day language, and does not imply an obligation, its dictionary definition is "express possibility"

You may be entitled to a discount. 

You may have a cookie.

You may leave work early.

None of these sentences imply any sort of obligation to, a discount, cookie, or leaving early.

Kirk Christie - VATPAC C3

VATPAC Undercover ATC Agent

Worldflight Perth 737-800 Crew Member

956763

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According to the FAA (https://www.faa.gov/about/initiatives/plain_language/media/toolkit.pdf):

Must = mandatory
Must not = prohibited
May = optional
Should = recommended

According to EASA/EC (https://ec.europa.eu/info/sites/default/files/styleguide_english_dgt_en.pdf):

Shall = Positive imperative (mandatory)
Shall not = Negative imperative (prohibited)
May = Positive permission (optional)
Should = recommended

If we were splitting hairs the may not part of that sentence is not in line with either of those guidelines.

A Sub-Division or Division may designate one or not more than 30% (rounded down) of all controllable aerodromes and terminal facilities, whichever is greater, within that Sub-Division or Division as Restricted Airspace.

I don't think it sounds better than than the current formulation, but it bypasses the may not part.

Edited by Lars Bergmann
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