January 9, 2013
By Jim Moore
AOPA is calling on pilots familiar with Phoenix to contribute to a modernization effort now under way. The FAA has launched a three-year process to review and upgrade the metropolitan area airspace by implementing new routes and procedures to take advantage of performance-based navigation (PBN) and other NextGen technologies. This may include the creation of new localizer performance with vertical guidance (LPV) approaches (GPS approaches that use Wide Area Augmentation System satellite signals to create a virtual glideslope, usually with lower minimums), and T-routes (GPS-based airways). The FAA, at the urging of AOPA and other aviation interests, has adopted a systematic approach to airspace modernization, creating a three-year process for each “metroplex” that includes an opportunity for pilots to provide comments and input before final decisions are made. The new routes and procedures are expected to increase efficiency and reduce costs for aircraft operators.
Pilots with experience operating in the Phoenix area are asked to share comments and suggestions with AOPA, which will collate and present the input to FAA. Of particular interest is experience pilots may have had with patterns of routing or other delays, the availability of existing T-routes when requested, and suggestions for new procedures that would be beneficial at specific airports in the metropolitan area.
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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