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IFR Fix: He's making a list (of instrument procedures)IFR Fix: He's making a list (of instrument procedures)

Improving IFR facilities at your airport may not be as simple as telling Santa your wish and waiting by the chimney for delivery—but it’s close by government standards.

Image courtesy of FAA.

Just like the North Pole-based aviator whose open-cockpit aircraft sometimes descends “like a lead sled” to make short landings on steep, shingled rooftops, the FAA provides a way for pilots to create a wish list and check on any progress toward making the wishes come true.

Granted, you may not get the answer before you haul your decorative indoor tree to the curb a few weeks from now. The good news is that the process does not involve waiting in line at a shopping mall for a one-minute chat with Santa to explain your airport’s need for vertical guidance on the GPS approach or a published transition route to and from the airway system.

Instead, you can go online to the FAA’s IFP Information Gateway—the initials stand for instrument flight procedures—to submit or check on your request.

Probably no visions of sugarplums dance in your head at the thought of making a wish come true on a regulatory agency’s website. But whether you make your wishes known during the holiday season or after, you will make one airspace expert very merry.

“We have received more inquiries the last few months from pilots who felt they had no way of voicing a request to the FAA,” said Rune Duke, AOPA senior director of airspace, air traffic, and security. “The gateway is easy to use, and it is the best way to interact directly with the FAA to make your desires known. The FAA evaluates each request and comment.”

The FAA notes that it relies on the IFP Information Gateway to solicit comments and disseminate information about proposed changes to flight procedures, such as requests for new instrument approach procedures.

AOPA encouraged pilots to use the gateway in December 2017 and June 2018 to weigh in about individual IAPs the FAA is eyeing for cancellation during its effort to reduce the “legacy” approaches in the system to make way for NextGen procedures.

You can keep tabs on a procedural review by subscribing to receive notifications about the state or individual airport of interest. Meanwhile, AOPA continues to work with the FAA to simplify the process for users going to the gateway to make their list (and check it twice) of IFR procedures that are naughty or nice.

Dan Namowitz

Dan Namowitz

Associate Editor Web
Associate Editor Web Dan Namowitz has been writing for AOPA in a variety of capacities since 1991. He has been a flight instructor since 1990 and is a 30-year AOPA member.
Topics: IFR, FAA Information and Services

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