Pilots using Northwest Regional Airport (XNA) will soon find it easier to talk to air traffic control (ATC), now that the FAA has adopted an AOPA recommendation for the airport's new Class C airspace.
Over a year ago, AOPA participated on an ad hoc airspace working group to review the need for Class C airspace around XNA. After soliciting input and working with local airspace users, AOPA insisted that adequate communications equipment needed to be installed prior to the establishment of Class C airspace, to improve the local pilots' ability to communicate with ATC. The FAA agreed and will install a remote transmitter and receiver (RTR) that will be operational before the Class C airspace is implemented on July 10, 2003.
According to the FAA, the airspace change is needed to support increased aircraft operations at XNA and the increased potential for midair collisions in the area.
"Class C airspace alone would not have improved the level of safety at XNA," said Heidi Williams, manager of air traffic, regulatory, and certification policy. "We are pleased that the FAA agreed with AOPA's recommendations and took the necessary measures to make the RTR operational prior to the Class C implementation."