Northeast airways slated for modification, replacement

February 2, 2012

Proposed changes to Victor airways transiting Connecticut offer a small-scale preview of how the nation’s airspace will likely be modernized via NextGen, from a system based on decades-old technology to performance-based navigation based on GPS.

The FAA is poised to decommission the vortac at Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, Conn., this year, and changes to various airways have been proposed.

Three existing Victor airways would be modified, one Victor airway would be eliminated, and three new RNAV (GPS) airways would be created to replace Victor airway segments slated for elimination. The new T-routes will make the route changes virtually transparent to GPS users—already the majority of GA aircraft.

AOPA will submit comment on the proposed changes, and members are encouraged to review them and submit comments by the March 9 deadline. AOPA is interested in hearing from pilots, particularly those without GPS equipment, about how the proposed action may affect them.

Victor 130, which currently extends from Albany, N.Y., to Martha’s Vineyard via the Bradley Vortac, would be shortened, with the new Victor 130 connecting Norwich, Conn., (southeast of BDL) and Martha’s Vineyard. Victor 203, currently a route between Albany, N.Y., and Montreal, Canada, would be extended southeast from Albany to the existing STELA intersection and replace most of the eliminated Victor 130 segment.

Victor 205, which currently connects the COATE intersection near Sparta, N.J., and the Putnam, Conn., VOR/DME, would be eliminated. Other routes are available connecting to Putnam, and a new RNAV route—T-212—would follow the same route as Victor 205.

Victor 405 would shift north from the Bradley Vortac to the Barnes, Mass., Vortac, about 13 miles north of Bradley International.

A modification of Victor 419, which extends from Maryland to Boston, Mass., would eliminate segments between the BRISS intersection and Boston, with alternate routes available—including the new RNAV routes.

While the FAA anticipates the impact of the proposed airway changes will be “minimal,” the agency needs to hear from users about potential impacts or concerns.