June 5, 2000
Mr. Ron Morgan Director, Air Traffic Services Federal Aviation Administration 800 Independence Avenue SW Washington, DC 20591
Dear Mr. Morgan:
On behalf of over 360,000 members, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) objects to the recent Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) decision to use the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) flight plan format for all operations.
Since 1997, AOPA has worked with the FAA to resolve this issue, including increased efforts through the Multi-Agency Air Traffic Services Procedures Co-Ordination Group Technical Working Group (MAPCOG TWG). The MAPCOG TWG developed a consensus recommendation that brings the FAA into compliance with ICAO with minimal affect on general aviation. There are several reasons AOPA is opposed to the FAA's decision not to accept that recommendation:
Based on the concerns above, AOPA objects to using the ICAO flight plan for NAS operations. A mandate to change procedures without user benefit will meet strong resistance, especially in light of the fact that the majority of general aviation operations worldwide are conducted in the NAS. We ask for your assurance that changes will not occur without consensus from the industry.
Melissa Bailey Director, Air Traffic Services
AOPA thanks our members for their continued support in protecting the freedom to fly.