FAA to preserve needed ground-based approaches

December 16, 2009

The FAA recently announced that it will defer canceling 22 instrument ground-based approaches based on comments from AOPA and pilots. AOPA’s Pilot Information Center gathered input from pilots on 154 instrument approaches that were on the chopping block, analyzed each, and recommended that the FAA keep 22 of the approaches based on pilots’ needs.

In addition to individual approaches, the FAA also granted AOPA’s request to retain instrument procedures at four airports: Independence Municipal in Independence, Kan., General William J. Fox Airfield in Lancaster, Calif., Salina Municipal in Salina, Kan., and Fresno Chandler Executive in Fresno, Calif.

The FAA has not indicated when it would cancel the other instrument procedures, but the association has encouraged the agency to circulate a notice in the Federal Register and notify airport managers.

“Without ground-based instrument approaches, pilots flying aircraft not equipped with an IFR-certified GPS wouldn’t be able to access certain airports under instrument conditions,” said Craig Spence, AOPA vice president of regulatory affairs. “We will continue to monitor the FAA’s cancellation of instrument approaches to ensure that pilots continue to have ground- and satellite-based approaches in the near future.”