Certain ground-based approaches critical for pilots

October 8, 2009

After reviewing the FAA’s proposal to cancel 154 instrument approaches, AOPA is asking the agency to preserve 22 of those and consider comments from pilots on the necessity of 21 additional approaches.

“Although AOPA strongly supports the FAA’s efforts to transition the National Airspace System to satellite-based navigation and understands the need to eliminate redundant and unnecessary approaches, several of the proposed cancellations could have a significant impact on general aviation operations,” the association said in formal comments filed Oct. 1.

AOPA analyzed each approach and reviewed comments from members on the impact eliminating the approaches would have on instrument operations. The association is opposing the cancellation of approaches that would eliminate IFR access to 16 airports for pilots who fly aircraft not equipped with GPS, distance measuring equipment (DME), or an automatic direction finder (ADF).

“Pilots without DME, GPS, or ADF would be forced to choose between new equipment investments or increased risks associated with marginal visual flights,” explained Rob Hackman, AOPA senior director of regulatory affairs.

Additionally, AOPA told the FAA that some approaches needed to be preserved based on pilots’ local needs and for flight training purposes. For more information, see AOPA’s comments.