FAA Explains Instrument Approach Procedure Shutdowns

AINsafety » August 26, 2013
August 26, 2013, 4:13 PM

As part of continued cost cutting by the U.S. federal government, the FAA has announced plans to begin decommissioning some instrument approach procedures (IAP) to save on maintenance costs of ground-based navaids. The agency said the plan also stems from a near doubling of new IAPs in the past decade thanks to advances in satellite-based approach systems.

The FAA is considering canceling certain non-directional beacon (NDB) and very high frequency (VHF) omnidirectional radio range (VOR) procedures at airports that currently have multiple instrument approach procedures in place. The strategies the agency has developed to identify IAPs for shutdown were the result of research conducted by the Flight Safety Foundation.

In the August 2 notice published in the Federal Register (FR Doc No: 2013-17940), the FAA outlined a number of specific criteria for identifying which procedures can or should be removed from the national airspace system. It is accepting comments on the proposal until October 1.


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Agent Orange
on August 27, 2013 - 11:29am

So is it true that ILS's are NOT being shut down anywhere, and neither are VOR's or NDB's where they are the only IAP navaids available? Please clarify.

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Robert P. Mark
on August 27, 2013 - 11:41am

I’ve added the link below to the note in the Federal Register which offers considerable details of the FAA’s plan. Essentially at the moment, they’re saying they plan to keep at least one graound based navid up and running at each airport that also has a current RNAV approach to supplement it.

I don’t believe it is clear from what I’ve read that that will definitely be the ILS however.


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on August 28, 2013 - 9:39am

Is this the same as saying that with satellite based IAPs we are moving towards PBN - Performance Based Navigation for approach profiles ??

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