Flight Service Stations Cut Back Due to Lack of Interest

Everyone knows that there is less flying going on, but Lockheed Martin is using the reduced numbers to justify cutting back on Flight Service Station facilities. The company announced last week that five satellite stations will close in February. Facilities due to shut their doors include those in Oakland, San Diego, Denver, Albuquerque and Macon, Georgia. In addition to the cutback in demand from pilots, Lockheed Martin also cited improved efficiencies in its operation of the FSS network. Critics, including the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, counter that local stations provide vital familiarity among briefers regarding unique weather conditions particular to their area. Others point to the proliferation of Internet-based sources of weather and flight planning services as additional factors precipitating the cutbacks.

Mark Phelps is a senior editor at AVweb. He is an instrument rated private pilot and former owner of a Grumman American AA1B and a V-tail Bonanza.

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