The FAA will hold a public meeting March 11 to respond to pilots’ concerns about a tracon consolidation in Beaumont, Texas, and AOPA is urging affected pilots to attend. During an August 2007 meeting with the FAA, pilots raised numerous concerns about plans to save money by closing the Beaumont Tracon and consolidating its responsibilities into the Houston Tracon. The issues raised by pilots included diminished VFR flight following services, inadequate staffing and excessive controller workload, approaches that don’t give high-performance aircraft enough time to descend, inconvenient routes that send aircraft around Houston airspace, delays caused by new call-for-release requirements for IFR departures, and possible security problems. Pilots are encouraged to attend the upcoming meeting to hear directly from the FAA how it will address these issues. The meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Hotel and Suites, 3950 I-10 South, Beaumont, Texas. An AOPA representative also will attend.
February 29, 2008