The FAA will discontinue the use of the dedicated Flight Watch radio frequency 122.0 MHz on Sept.24, a week earlier than the previously announced end date for the En Route Flight Advisory Service (EFAS) frequency.
The FAA changed the implementation date to Sept. 24 from Oct. 1 because all necessary preparations will be completed earlier than planned, it said.
Services provided by EFAS will continue to be offered over published Flight Service frequencies and on 122.2 MHz, the universal frequency for contacting Flight Service.
After its discontinuation, 122.0 MHz will be monitored for six months so pilots may be directed to other frequencies appropriate for their flight.
The FAA will publish a notam advising of the new end date. The agency also will send out a FAAST Blast email message on Sept. 9, and update the FAA website to announce the change, said Rune Duke, AOPA director of government affairs for airspace and air traffic.
AOPA reported Aug. 18 that the FAA had decided to discontinue 122.0 MHz as increasing numbers of pilots switch from traditional Flight Service assistance to more automated and Web-based information sources.
The change will give the agency an opportunity to eliminate redundancies and reduce underutilized services, and resolve issues of bleed-over and frequency congestion on 122.0 MHz, the FAA said.
AOPA has worked to make pilots aware of the transition, and to assure that satisfactory levels of service continue on the other frequencies.