The FAA's Capstone program is seeking input from general aviation aircraft owners and pilots about the future of the aviation infrastructure in Alaska. A series of public meetings will take place March 21 through 25. Claiming significant budget shortfalls, the FAA has proposed decommissioning NDBs and reducing the number of NDB approaches. New technologies like GPS-WAAS and ADS-B are promising, but is now the right time to transition from the ground-based system?
"While AOPA supports migrating to satellite navigation, we need to see a firm plan that addresses backup systems and affordable equipment for aircraft owners," said AOPA Alaska Regional Representative Tom George. The FAA has five years of operational experience in southwestern Alaska with the Capstone technologies, and the agency plans to summarize the lessons it has learned, and present a vision of a statewide system it is prepared to deploy. AOPA urges pilots to participate and voice any concerns in these meetings.
March 17, 2005