Thanks to input by AOPA and others, the FAA has decided to keep monitoring instrument approach navaids at 27 locations.
FAA flight service stations (FSSs) traditionally have monitored ILS signals at nontowered airports in their area. If an ILS went off the air, the FSS would issue a notam to advise pilots and alert FAA technicians to repair the problem. But the FAA didn't include navaid monitoring in its FSS modernization contract with Lockheed Martin. With the consolidation of FSSs nationwide, many ILS systems would be outside monitoring range.
In its comments to the FAA proposal, AOPA had argued that leaving the navaids unmonitored would create safety issues, and it was worth the cost to find a solution. Without external monitoring, pilots would have no way of knowing that navaids had shut down until they arrived at the airports and attempted to land.
Over the next several months, the FAA says it will have air traffic control facilities take over the monitoring responsibility.
May 2, 2007