The Air Force is planning to close its facilities at Barter Island LRRS Airport near Kaktovik, Alaska. Part of that closure includes decommissioning the BTI NDB and the AWOS. The FAA is planning to decommission both this fall because it has determined that it cannot afford to support the equipment. AOPA Alaska Regional Representative Tom George has studied the effects this would have on general aviation in the state. "Without weather reporting, Barter Island would become a VFR-only airport because the FAA would cancel all instrument approaches," George said. "Because of the prevalent instrument weather conditions, this move would essentially sever reliable access to the area - aviation is the community's primary link to the rest of the world. Also, not having a weather reporting station in Kaktovik would degrade the quality of area forecasts in northern Alaska." AOPA will be filing comments regarding the planned decommissioning and encourages members to do so before the March 15 deadline. See the FAA's public notice for plan details and to submit comments.
February 23, 2007