A proposed Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) rule change long sought by AOPA should help alleviate major re-routes and delays frequently experienced by general aviation pilots attempting to transition through or over Class B and special-use airspace.
Two years ago, AOPA requested that the FAA provide GPS-equipped pilots with the capability to fly charted GPS routes through Class B airspace as well as fly at lower altitudes along airways where ground-based navigation equipment limits minimum altitudes. This proposed rule change would effectively give the FAA the authority to begin publishing those routes.
Pilots using GPS operating under either instrument flight rules or visual flight rules could expect to fly the routes with appropriate clearances when necessary.
"We're glad to see the FAA has proposed a change to the archaic rules that limit charted routes to only VOR and NDB," commented Andy Cebula, senior vice president of government and technical affairs.
AOPA also requested that the FAA provide for more charted "direct routes" where necessary for increased access to remote airports where radar is nonexistent and random GPS routing is not permitted.
"This rulemaking activity directly reflects AOPA's constant pressure to push for benefits from GPS equipment," commented Cebula. "We anticipate that the rule will enable these new capabilities in the very near future."