"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 proposed expansion of R-2206 is moving forward. See the included comment letter. The FAA is working on the final design of the airspace proposal now. Look for TFR's to be published soon around the existing R-2206 as testing of the new radar starts after the first of the year. The Missile Defense Agency, the Air Force, and the FAA have been very responsive to our comments and have worked hard to mitigate our concerns.
Big Lake Master Plan
The Big Lake Airport (PAGQ) Master Plan is out for public comment and review. Comments are due by January 15. The Master Plan will map out a twenty-year plan for airport development. The Airmen's Association needs to hear from you about your ideas and concerns so that we can advocate for your needs. If you comment, please copy email@example.com. For more information on the master plan, go to http://biglakeairportmasterplan.com.
Ketchikan Part 93 Airspace
Just like Anchorage, Ketchikan has Part 93 Airspace. Until recently, the FAA published the procedures in the Alaska Supplement. In a nationwide effort to clean up redundant information, FAA Headquarters removed the Ketchikan Part 93 data. The Alaska Airmen's Association and Alaska Flight Service are working on getting the data placed back into the Alaska Supplement as soon as possible.
The Alaska Railroad has brought a lawsuit against the Flying Crown Home Owners Association for right of way and easement issues. The Railroad contends that it has much broader use and protection of the right of ways and easements than standard utility easements. This interpretation has caused problems at the Flying Crown airstrip in South Anchorage. The Railroad is demanding exclusive use, and Flying Crown still wants to use the easement to taxi through and park on. The Alaska Airmen's Association and several other advocacy groups are following this case closely. For more information, read the associated opinion piece in the January-March 2021 edition of the Transponder.
Anchorage Airspace Study/Redesign
There hasn't been much visible movement on this issue recently. The FAA and its contractors are working with the Air Force to see what it would take to put an ILS on runway 16 at Elmendorf (JBER). An ILS has the potential of completely reshaping the Anchorage bowl. There will be several opportunities for public comment as this project continues.
COVID Vaccine and FAA Medicals
In a change of doctrine, the FAA has said that pilots will be allowed to take the COVID vaccine and not jeopardize their medical. The FAA says that you should not carry out your duties within 48 hours of receiving the vaccine to ensure no adverse reactions. The FAA Medical Examiners have traditionally not recommended taking any vaccine or medication that hasn't been on the market for five years.
The Governor recently released his budget for next year. There doesn't seem to be any significant cuts to DOT. The proposed budget does seem to imply that DOT should look at ways to increase revenue. In the past, the Alaska Airmen's Association has supported a moderate increase in fuel taxes. Our position is that fuel taxes are the only balanced and fair approach to raising revenue for the Alaska Aviation System. DOT can not raise fuel taxes; the Legislators can only do that. The Alaska Airmen's Association will keep a close watch on any proposals for increasing revenue.
Private airport database and registration
If you or someone you know has a private airport, please make sure the FAA has your current contact information. The FAA is cleaning up its database, and if folks do not respond or update the airport information, the FAA will most likely remove the data from the charts and Alaska Supplement. For more information, go to https://adip.faa.gov/
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. 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.