June 15, 2011
By Dan Namowitz
The Luke Air Force Base Radar Approach Control (RAPCON) facility near Phoenix, Ariz., has increased its operating schedule, and encourages pilots to use the radar services to enhance safety when flying in the area’s busy airspace.
The radar facility now operates on a seven-days-a-week schedule. It had been closed Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays until the new schedule took effect June 11.
Radar services are now available from Monday to Thursday from 1300Z to 0530Z, and Friday through Sunday from 1300Z to 0300Z.
“Luke Air Force Base capitalized on an opportunity to better manage our air traffic control training workload, while simultaneously providing better service to the general aviation community by changing Luke RAPCON’s hours,” said Chief Master Sergeant Gregg Mowrer, the facility’s chief controller. “Currently, Luke RAPCON’s schedule change is forecast to be permanent and is a win-win situation for the 56th Fighter Wing and the general aviation community in the vicinity of Luke AFB.”
The expanded hours of availability of radar service do not affect the operating times of the Luke Special Air Traffic Rules (SATR) area. The SATR will only be active when military operations are under way. No weekend SATR activity is planned at this time, officials said.
Dan Namowitz is an aviation writer and flight instructor. He has been a pilot since 1985 and an instructor since 1990.
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