AOPA’s aviation services department recently cut through the fog to enable the use of ILS 27 at Florida’s Tallahassee Regional Airport (TLH) during times when the tower is closed. We were able to coordinate the transfer of responsibility for providing radar vectors to the JAX Center when the TLH Tower is not in operation. The restrictive limitation “tower operations required” was just removed on the new approach plates printed in September.
A member alerted us to a problem with the approaches at Tallahassee Regional recently. It seemed that the ILS to Runway 27 was not available when the tower was closed, and the member could not find out why. He asked if we could investigate and try to find out what could be done.
One of our technical specialists took up the challenge and contacted the FAA Regional Airspace Office in Oklahoma City and found that there was a very good reason for the limitation, but that a fix was possible.
It seems that when simultaneous runway operations are in effect, landing traffic on Runway 27 would block the ILS transmitter signal for the ILS to Runway 36. Unless the tower was available to vector potentially conflicting traffic so that no one was landing on 27 while another aircraft was using the ILS to 36, there was a real hazard here.
The joint AOPA/FAA effort resulted in acceptance by Jacksonville Center to assume control of the approaches during the hours that the TLH Tower was closed. This immediate acceptance removed the limitation by notam in July, and the new approach plates reflect the change as of the new printing in September.
AOPA technical specialists are all pilots, most are flight instructors, and all are highly trained in the many technical areas needed to assist AOPA members in resolving conflicts.
October 19, 1999