FAA DecommissionsMore than 200 NDB Approaches

 - October 5, 2006, 6:12 AM

In a cost-cutting move, the FAA last month decommissioned 216 NDB approaches across the U.S. Although the agency has yet to actually switch the NDB beacons off the air, the decommissioned stations will no longer be flight-checked, maintained, approved for use or shown on updated charts, according to AOPA.

“The FAA decommissioned them after careful coordination with AOPA and the aviation community,” said Randy Kenagy, AOPA director of advanced technology. This means the FAA “can stop spending money on something few use and will have more funds for GPS-WAAS approaches to general aviation airports,” he added.

The FAA has announced plans to decommission a total of 479 NDB procedures, with the final set of approaches scheduled to be eliminated as early as next month. AOPA told the agency that 60 NDB approaches should be saved because they provide the lowest minimums. However, the FAA has decided to retain just 35 of the 60, according to AOPA.