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.
AOPA Online Associate Editor Jim Moore joined AOPA in 2011 and is an instrument-rated private pilot who enjoys competition aerobatics.
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