Stakeholder panel urged for RNAV route development

January 22, 2014

AOPA is urging the FAA to improve its development of RNAV terminal routes (T-routes) as ground-based navaids are decommissioned. A proposed modification of two airways in Pennsylvania provides an opportunity to leverage the efficiencies of satellite navigation, AOPA said.

The FAA has proposed to modify airways V35 and V276 as a result of the scheduled decommissioning of the Tyrone, Pa., Vortac, and to replace the inoperable navaid with a waypoint at the same location. Members may submit comments on the proposal until March 10.

AOPA has pointed out several other recent examples of route modification proposals that could be improved with better T-route design, and is calling on the FAA to establish an industry stakeholder panel to help develop a policy and a strategy for transitioning to the new technology. The association will reiterate that position in comments on the new proposal.

"Simply overlaying a T-route on top of a Victor route, or replacing a VOR with a GPS waypoint, does not leverage the efficiencies of satellite navigation, nor does it account for airspace boundary changes. That approach is inefficient and unsustainable over the long term," said Tom Kramer, AOPA manager of airspace and modernization.

Members are encouraged to submit comments by March 10 online or by mail to U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M–30, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, Washington, DC 20590–0001. Please cite FAA Docket No. FAA–2013–0961 and Airspace Docket No. 13–AEA–13 at the beginning of your comments.

Please share your comments with AOPA.