Minneapolis Center has taken over providing overnight radar services at Hector International in Fargo, North Dakota. The change comes because only one controller works the night shift at the airport, which violates FAA policy. A controller is still on duty at night, and the airport's tower is still open 24 hours a day even though Minneapolis Center is providing radar services. Pilots flying IFR could experience longer hold times in the air and on the ground, and they could be assigned higher initial approach altitudes because of limited radar coverage over the area. Pilots flying VFR should not notice any difference. Hector International is scheduled to offer new radar services next year, and AOPA has asked Minneapolis Center to remote the new radar over night and eliminate any changes in service to pilots. Minneapolis Center will be hosting a meeting at 7 p.m. on Thursday, December 7, at the Fargo Jet Center to listen to pilots' concerns about this change and answer any questions.
November 24, 2006