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AOPA wins holiday prize for So. Calif. pilotsAOPA wins holiday prize for So. Calif. pilots

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After a year and a half of pressure from AOPA, the FAA has solved internal logistical problems at the Los Angeles International (LAX) Tower and, beginning on December 3, will make the VFR transition "mini route" across the east end of LAX available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

[Read the letter to airmen opening the "mini route" 24/7.]

"Ever since the FAA established the VFR mini route, we've been urging the agency to make it available to VFR pilots on a full-time basis," said AOPA Air Traffic Manager Heidi Williams. "It is imperative that general aviation VFR traffic has adequate access through L.A.'s Class B airspace. This change will finally do that."

The "mini route" was introduced in June 2002 to replace the LAX Shoreline Transition Route. That route had been suspended after several instances of airliners getting too close to VFR traffic, although it appears the VFR pilots were never at fault.

After originally permitting use of the mini route for only four hours per day, the LAX Tower doubled access in September 2002. But there had been no further expansion of the route hours for the past 14 months, so AOPA had resumed urging the FAA to provide adequate access.

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