Get Your Letters... Yes, Letters... In By May 31
The Aircraft Owners and
Pilots Association has sent out a reminder to its members -- and
all pilots -- that the deadline is quickly approaching to tell the
FAA what you think of the agency's proposal to cancel some 270
instrument approach procedures that it considers underused or
redundant. If you don't agree about one of those procedures, you
need to write the FAA before May 31.
The FAA says the number of available instrument approaches has
nearly doubled in the last decade, primarily through the addition
of GPS and GPS-WAAS procedures. That's great news for pilots of
aircraft equipped with those systems... but without other IFR
approaches in place as well, that means pilots without GPS
capabilities are out of luck.
In some cases, elimination of the procedures would also mean no
backup system is in place for when the GPS system goes offline.
The FAA says it wants to eliminate the procedures to cut
costs... but AOPA points out that the money to chart and maintain
all of those approaches has not increased significantly.
"We want to help the FAA reduce costs, but not at the expense of
things pilots need to safely use the National Airspace System,"
said Andy Cebula, AOPA executive vice president of government
affairs. "Local knowledge is important. Only you know for sure if
the approach the FAA thinks is unneeded still serves a useful
purpose. So tell the FAA and AOPA, and we'll help fight to keep it
if you need it."
Many of the procedures that the FAA wants to cancel are based on
NDBs, which AOPA has generally viewed as the last choice for IFR
access to an airport. In this action, the FAA isn't proposing to
decommission the NDBs themselves -- just some of the approach
A list of the approaches being considered for elimination is
available on the AOPA website, at the FMI link below.
If -- after checking the list -- you find an approach at your
local airport is scheduled to be shut down and you want to do
something about that, get your pen out and write down your
comments. Aero-News has learned the address to send your comments
National Flight Procedures Group
P.O. Box 25082
Oklahoma City, OK 73125
Be sure to specifically cite the approach(s) you feel should be
retained, and identify your comments as regarding "proposed
instrument approach elimination."