AOPA Pleads Case for Embattled Approaches

The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association is asking the FAA to reconsider its plans to cancel some of the 154 ground-based instrument approaches that are on the budget chopping block. The pilots' association has asked that 22 of the approaches be preserved and asked the agency to consider comments from pilots on 21 more, before letting the budget axe fall. According to AOPA research, eliminating all 154 approaches would eliminate IFR access to 16 airports for aircraft not equipped with GPS, distance measuring equipment (DME) or an automatic direction finder (ADF). The FAA's plans to eliminate the 154 approaches is part of a migration to satellite-based air traffic control, and move away from dependence on less precise ground-based navigation aids such as non-directional beacons used in ADF approaches.