January 30, 2013
By Dan Namowitz
The FAA has announced the decommissioning of direction finder (DF) service in Alaska effective Feb. 15.
With newer navigation technology available, and use of DF to assist lost or disoriented pilots “all but obsolete,” the FAA will move ahead with plans announced last year to shut down DF in Alaska. Since 2004, the Alaska Flight Service Information Area Group had documented only three cases of using DF to aid pilots, the FAA said when proposing the shutdown.
Since 2007, the service has continued to be available in Alaska after being discontinued elsewhere .But DF equipment is no longer manufactured, and can no longer be maintained, the FAA said in a letter to airmen announcing the decommissioning,
AOPA did not oppose decommissioning DF, but has urged the FAA to apply funding that the service would have received to expanded Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) coverage, especially in the Brooks Range and in eastern portions of Alaska.
The Senate has joined the effort to expand the FAA's third-class medical exemption to more pilots and aircraft.
The International Society of Women Airline Pilots champions and supports women in the cockpit.
On any route, the current combination of flight conditions and airspace can present a myriad of decisions to ponder.
AOPA thanks our members for their continued support in protecting the freedom to fly.