February 19, 2014
By Dan Namowitz
The FAA has set an April 3 effective date for nine new RNAV terminal routes (T-routes) in and around Atlanta's Class B airspace. The routes are consistent with general-aviation-friendly designs the agency outlined during the rulemaking process, AOPA said.
AOPA supports the T-routes described in the final rule published Feb. 5 as an example of a successful application of the T-route concept—one that enhances the efficiencies of the emerging satellite-based air traffic control system.
"These T-routes represent a successful collaboration between FAA and industry to develop routes that will improve access and efficiency for general aviation aircraft transiting the Atlanta airspace," said Tom Kramer, AOPA manager of airspace and modernization.
The new T-routes, a product of the FAA’s nationwide Optimization of Airspace Procedures in a Metroplex (OAPM) program, were awaited as a follow-up to the redesign of Atlanta’s Class B airspace. One route in particular, T-319, a north-south route that overheads Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, is expected to save general aviation operators much time and cost in transiting the airspace.
AOPA believes that the collaborative approach to T-route design that produced the Atlanta routings has been lacking elsewhere in the airspace system. The association, concerned that the FAA’s use of satellite-navigation technology has not always improved on existing routes, has been calling on the agency to develop a system-wide policy for T-route implementation, with input from a user committee.
Dan Namowitz is an aviation writer and flight instructor. He has been a pilot since 1985 and an instructor since 1990.
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