"Our Voice for General Aviation in Alaska"
The following are a few of the hot issues the Alaska Airmen's Association is currently tracking and working on in your behalf. We are working on many more subjects behind the scenes. Please keep a close watch on our website http://www.alaskaairmen.org, read our eBulletins, visit our social media pages, and watch the live advocacy updates for more timely updates.
If you have questions, comments, concerns or know of new issues, please contact Adam White. As always, when you file your public comments please copy the Alaska Airmen's Association. This helps us know and understand your needs and opinions.
The Clear Air Force Station, Long Range Discrimination Radar, just north of Windy pass has begun testing and has a long-term TFR in place. The Record of Decision from the National Environmental Policy Act process has been signed by the Air Force. The permanent expansion of Restricted Area 2206 is expected to be charted sometime in late 2022 (the timeline keeps slipping, so this may not be the final estimate). The FAA agreed with our position that there needed to be a better way than just the NOTAM system to notify pilots transiting the area if the lower sections of the Restricted Area were to go hot outside the published times. The Missile Defense Agency and the FAA are working on a radio notification system and high intensity lights to announce the unschedule activations. Make sure you check NOTAMs for times and dimensions of the TFR that is in place right now.
The FAA has updated the Advisory Circular on preflight planning. It is an interesting read. If you do any level of a “self brief” this will help you understand more about what you need to be looking for. Alaska Flight Service continues to be a good source for a preflight weather briefing but there are plenty of other sources for much of the data that is needed to comply with FAR 91.103.
The Alaska Aviation Weather Unit, and the FAA Weather Cameras continue to be a widely used resource for knowing what the weather is a long your route of flight. Another tool that is in an experimental phase is the new Graphical Forecast for Aviation (https://testbed.aviationweather.gov/gfa). If you have the time go look at the capabilities of this tool and offer feedback.
Anchorage Airspace Study
This process started back in 2018 with the Air Force and the FAA looking into the feasibility of putting an ILS into runway 16 at Elmendorf AFB. The missed approach procedures would be problematic for the Cartee Airspace and Merrill Field. As a result the FAA is doing a study to look at redesigning the Airspace in the Anchorage bowl. This most likely would include reevaluating some of the Part 93 VFR procedures. The FAA estimates that this will take another five years to complete. There will be opportunities for us to offer input and feedback to the FAA. Looks for more information as it becomes available.
At press time there was a lot of concern and talk about what a potential State shutdown as a result of not having a signed budget might look like. It seems that the dysfunction in Juneau is continuing and little is known about the real world impacts of a State government shutdown for aviation. Keep an eye out for emails, social media posts and Adam’s monthly live updates for more information.
Federal Infrastructure Bill
As of press time there is still very little known about how the Biden Infrastructure Plan and the corresponding Bills would affect Alaska and specifically, aviation in Alaska. The Alaska Airmen’s Association is following this closely and is advocating for improved and expanded aviation infrastructure in Alaska.
Social Media Live Events
Don't forget to watch the Government Affairs social media live events on Facebook and Instagram. Adam goes into detail about some of the hot issues we are working on and takes your questions. The goal is to have at least one event a month, sometimes more, if needed. Look for times and dates to be posted on our social media accounts and in eBulletins (usually the 2nd Tuesday at 6 pm). Past events are archived on our YouTube channel.
If you want more information on these topics or have questions, comments, or if you know of new issues, please contact Adam White (firstname.lastname@example.org 907-322-1098). As always, when you file your public comments, please copy the Alaska Airmen's Association. Please keep a close watch on the Airmen's Facebook page for the latest information on how we are advocating for Aviation in Alaska on your behalf. https://www.facebook.com/alaska.airmen/