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AOPA helps save instrument approach to suburban Washington, D.C., airportAOPA helps save instrument approach to suburban Washington, D.C., airport

AOPA helps save instrument approach to suburban Washington, D.C., airport

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Maryland's Montgomery County Airpark (GAI) outside of Washington, D.C., will get to keep its WAAS approach, thanks to AOPA intervention.

The GPS-WAAS LPV instrument approach provides the lowest minima into the suburban airport, which doesn't have an ILS. So when AOPA member Steve Inkellis learned that a conflict with the Flight Restricted Zone (FRZ) within the Washington Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) was going to eliminate the best approach to his airport, he contacted AOPA.

The problem was that the straight-out missed approach procedure, which is the default standard for WAAS procedures, took aircraft uncomfortably close to the FRZ. The FAA's solution was to decommission the approach.

But AOPA immediately contacted the proper office within the FAA and pointed out that other approaches, including an approach at nearby Leesburg, Virginia, had been designed to avoid sensitive airspace. The agency agreed and will redesign the GAI missed-approach procedure to keep aircraft away from the FRZ.

"Protecting and proliferating WAAS approaches is a top priority for AOPA," said Randy Kenagy, AOPA director of advanced technology. "WAAS provides affordable precision access to airports that don't have ILS approaches." There are some 240 WAAS approaches nationwide, with more being commissioned every day.

October 27, 2005

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