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 has issued a proposed plan to transition the national airspace system (NAS) to a performance-based navigation system that relies on GPS and “area navigation everywhere and required navigation performance where beneficial,” instead of defining airways, routes and procedures using VORs and other legacy navaids. A minimum operational network of VORs and an “optimized network” of DMEs would be retained, and this drawdown would be complete by Jan. 1, 2020.
Cessna 208B Caravan, Alliance, Neb., Feb. 8, 2007–The Caravan pilot’s descent below minimum descent altitude on a nonprecision approach caused this crash, according to the NTSB. A contributing factor was a low ceiling (reported weather was 1.25 miles visibility and a 200-foot overcast in mist).
CESSNA 208B, MANTEO, N.C., DEC. 25, 2002–At about 1 a.m. EST Cessna N1122Y, registered to Avion Capital Corp. and operated by Telford Aviation, crashed into Croatan Sound near Manteo. The aircraft was in IMC on an instrument flight plan. The ATP-rated pilot was killed and the aircraft was substantially damaged. The flight departed Elizabeth City, N.C., about 25 minutes before the accident occurred.
Starting today, 216 NDB approaches will be decommissioned. Although the FAA has yet to actually switch them off the air, the decommissioned NDB 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.
Under an FAA cost-cutting proposal, certain ILS approaches, localizer-type directional aids, microwave landing systems and nondirectional beacons at some 25 U.S. airports would no longer be monitored by ATC or FSS due to their low annual activity or because they are not authorized for alternate airport filing when the control tower is closed. It will therefore be up to pilots to report signal discrepancies to the FAA.
Under an FAA proposal, certain ILS approaches, localizer-type directional aids (LDA), microwave landing systems (MLS) and nondirectional beacons (NDB) at some 25 U.S. airports would become unmonitored by ATC or FSS facilities due to their low annual activity or the fact they are not authorized for alternate airport filing when the control tower is closed.
In response to an FAA proposal to eliminate 479 “redundant” NDB approaches as a cost-saving measure, AOPA has given the agency a list of 57 NDB approaches that it believes should remain active because they provide the lowest minimums or because they are important to AOPA members.
Le Castellet International Airport in the south of France was set to activate distance- measuring equipment on October 27. The new landing aid will make it much easier for pilots to shoot IFR approaches to the airfield’s 5,741-foot runway without first having to perform a daytime checkride.
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.