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.
FAA Systems and Airspace,
Advocacy and Legislation
AOPA members are being encouraged to contact their representatives in support of a bill that would require the FAA to go through the rulemaking process.
Flight testing of a factory version of the Quicksilver Sport 2S, the first of two models with factory-built versions planned, is complete.
Since Reps. Todd Rokita (R-Ind.) and Sam Graves (R-Mo.) introduced the General Aviation Pilot Protection Act on Dec. 11, the pilot community has been abuzz with the possibilities of the bill that would allow pilots to use a driver’s license as a medical certificate for noncommercial VFR flights in aircraft weighing up to 6,000 pounds with no more than six seats, as long as they carry five or fewer passengers, fly below 14,000 feet msl, and fly no faster than 250 knots.
AOPA thanks our members for their continued support in protecting the freedom to fly.