"Our Voice for General Aviation in Alaska"
Government & Legislative Affairs
"Our Voice For General Aviation"
The following is a sample of some of the issues the Airmen's Association is advocating for or against on your behalf. We are working several issues that are behind the scenes and could become public shortly. Look for updates in the next Transponder, in our E-Bulletins, YouTube, and on our Facebook Page
If you have questions, comments 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 FAA came out with a special set of regulations a couple of months ago to help with several issues with pilot currency requirements, flight reviews, Airworthiness Directives, and other concerns that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused. The problem is that the FAA and many others, thought that the world would be back to normal by the end of June, and we all know it isn't. As of press time, the FAA has stated that they will extend some of the SFAR provisions, but we are waiting for more details. Adam will address this topic in an upcoming live advocacy Social Media event.
At the direction of Congress, the FAA has up to $2 Billion in relief funds available to airport sponsors. The disbursement formula made a few waves in the media, but Alaska airports will receive over $124 Million. DOT is the largest sponsor of airports in Alaska, but there are several Municipal sponsors too. All the sponsors are working hard with the FAA to figure out how and where to use the funds best.
While some of the more restrictive state health mandates have been eased, there are still some travel restrictions and procedures in place. This has been a recurring topic in Adam's live events. One big concern has been the local mandates and where to find them. The state is working on compiling these regional and local mandates so that they are easier to find. Our recommendation is to reach out to the local levels of government directly and discuss your travel plans.
There have been many conflicting reports about traveling to/from Alaska through Canada using General Aviation. The border closure has been extended to July 21st to all but essential travel as of press time. This could change, and it is recommended that you do your homework before traveling.
COVID testing is still required even if you enter Alaska via GA. You may submit your test results to the state via email email@example.com or fax (907) 269-7952. These mandates are subject to change. Check www.covid19.alaska.gov for more details.
Unfortunately, it seems that there have been some travelers that are not being truthful about their plans or essential need for travel. The Canadian government is catching on. According to Nav Canada, one other issue that seems to be getting more of a problem is US pilots not paying their invoices for services rendered. Remember that while here in the US, ATC is funded by fuel taxes, Canada has a user fee system. Nav Canada is claiming one of the reasons they are proposing a substantial rate increase is to try and make-up for non payments of US pilots. Aviators usually have a good reputation as being honest, upstanding people. Unfortunately, our reputation is getting tarnished by a few deadbeats.
The FAA is looking to clear up its database of private airports across the country. Some data is outdated, some airports may not be usable anymore, while others need to have contact information updated. It is crucial that this information be correct and current. If the FAA can not validate the data, they will list the airport as "closed indefinitely." For more information, please read Tom George's article in the latest edition of The Transponder.
Thank you to all of you that wrote public comments for the recent Environmental Assessment for the testing of the Long Range Discriminating Radar at Clear Air Force Station. The Missile Defense Agency (MDA) and the FAA have been very receptive to our feedback and is working through all of the comments submitted. The Alaska Airmen's latest comment letter is included in the latest edition of The Transponder and can also be read on our website. We still have concerns, and we look forward to working with MDA and the FAA to find a workable solution for everyone.
You can anticipate TFRs over the new radar in the coming months (starting October 2020 is the latest estimate) as testing, construction, and validation of the radar continues. (see the inset for a depiction of the proposed TFR) The Airmen Association continues to work this issue, and Adam will address this topic in upcoming live events on social media.
This letter represents part of our core mission: to protect, preserve, and promote general aviation in Alaska. Your yearly membership dues are the life-blood of this organization and help keep our advocacy efforts alive. Thank you for supporting us, and please let your fellow aviators know about us!
Don't forget to watch the Government Affairs social media live events. 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. Past events are archived on our YouTube channel.