The FAA has taken the first step toward modernizing Alaska’s flight service station (FSS) system by hiring a contractor to study the benefits flight service provides to the entire state, not just the aviation community. The issue is top of mind for Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), who spoke at length about the importance of aviation to Alaska and strongly defended the need for a robust FSS system during the Feb. 7 confirmation hearings for FAA Acting Administrator Bobby Sturgell. While FSS services for the contiguous United States have been outsourced to contractor Lockheed Martin, the FAA has said that FSS in Alaska will continue to be provided directly by the government, including the hiring and payment of staff and the lease or purchase of facilities. Sen. Stevens made it clear to Sturgell that he is watching and protecting this important service for pilots.
February 15, 2008