AOPA meets with Alaska pilots about ADS-B implementation

May 8, 2008

AOPA meets with Alaska pilots about ADS-B implementation

By AOPA ePublishing staff

The plan to implement aviation improvements in Alaska offers more to the state than the FAA’s ADS-B proposal, AOPA told pilots and industry leaders during a recent visit to the state.

“We need the FAA’s ADS-B implementation to be more than aircraft surveillance,” said AOPA Executive Vice President of Government Affairs Andy Cebula, who spoke May 3 at the Alaska Airmen’s trade show in Anchorage. “Unfortunately, the FAA’s plan to implement ADS-B helps ATC track aircraft without doing much of anything for general aviation pilots—all at a high cost to us. That’s why AOPA has been pushing back on the FAA notice of proposed rulemaking.”

Experience from the work done in Alaska over the past decade has shown that a good implementation plan would bring weather and traffic information into the cockpit, eliminate the need for a Mode C transponder, use affordable equipment, and give pilots an incentive to equip long before any mandate takes effect, Cebula explained. That’s not what the FAA has proposed thus far.

However, the plan being developed by the Alaska aviation community is different and designed make real safety improvements for pilots flying in the harsh weather conditions and rugged terrain of the vast state.

“The Alaska initiative represents a much-needed modernization of the whole infrastructure,” said Tom George, AOPA’s regional representative for Alaska. “It will bring instrument approaches and weather reporting to airports that have never had them, increase the number of remote communications outlets, improve search and rescue operations, and give pilots the weather and traffic information they need to make good decisions.”

May 8, 2008