FAA Establishes Soldotna CTAF Area

Tom George, AOPA Alaska Regional Manager

The FAA is establishing a CTAF Area for the Kenai/Soldotna region, placing a large portion of the Kenai Peninsula on a single frequency – 122.5 MHz.  This follows more than a year of FAA-led meetings with stakeholders to work out the details concerning boundaries, individual airports, and the addition of voluntary VFR checkpoints to improve situational awareness for pilots operating in the area.  The change is expected to become effective with the January 28th charting cycle. 

This change was initiated by local pilots several years ago. Last year the FAA Regional Administrator’s Office established a working group to bring government and industry stakeholders together to collaborate on the project.  Groups including the Peninsula Pilots Club, Alaska Airmen’s Association, Alaskan Aviation Safety Foundation, and AOPA, along with local flight instructors and commercial operators, participated in a lengthy series of working group meetings to hammer out the details–including the proposal to add more than a dozen new reporting points to flight charts. 

CTAF congestion an issue
Perhaps the largest concern associated with making this change is the potential for increasing frequency congestion, due to having this large an area sharing a single frequency.  It will be important for pilots to be concise in making position reports and to avoid practices such as calling each turn in the traffic pattern.

Details about this change will be found on the FAA Alaska Aviation Safety Initiative website (www.faa.gov/alaska), on Sectional Charts, and in the Chart Supplement.  Make sure to update your documents and to verify the CTAF frequency for individual airports before flying in the area. 

January 8th Update:  While individual airport CTAF frequencies have been changed, charting revisions on Sectionals and in the Alaska Supplement have been delayed to the March 21st publication cycle. 

Tom George serves as the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association’s Regional Manager for Alaska. He resides in Fairbanks and owns a Cessna 185. He may be reached at tom.george@aopa.org or 301-695-2092.

The new CTAF Area is expected to become effective on January 28th,with changes to twenty-five individual airport CTAF frequencies. A diagram of the area is planned for the March 21st edition of the Alaska Chart Supplement.

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