April 17, 2012
By Jim Moore
The FAA has proposed shutting down a VOR/DME in Decatur, Ala., that serves five nearby airports, nearly 30 instrument approaches, departure and arrival procedures, and two Victor airways. AOPA is urging FAA officials to modify affected procedures first.
In comments sent April 16, AOPA Manager of Airspace and Modernization Tom Kramer noted that the association continues to support the transition from ground-based to satellite-based navigation, but the general aviation community cannot afford to lose the Decatur VOR/DME until instrument procedures and airways that rely on the VOR are amended.
“Without modifying the procedures, the magnitude of impact caused by this decommissioning is too great and would substantially degrade the efficiency and availability of instrument procedures in the region,” Kramer said.
The FAA states that the DCU VOR/DME is in need of major repairs. The agency proposes to retain DME transmitters at the present location, but there is no plan proposed to replace the VOR. AOPA urges members to review the proposal and submit comments by April 27 to the FAA, with a copy to AOPA.
The movement to exempt thousands of general aviation pilots from the third class medical certification process is gaining momentum in Congress and the aviation community.
The recent warrantless stops and searches of law-abiding pilots on general aviation flights have drawn the attention of mainstream media.
The National Aeronautic Association has awarded the Collier Trophy for “the first unmanned, autonomous air system operating from an aircraft carrier.”
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