By Tom George, AOPA Alaska Regional Manager
Acting on a request by pilots in the Kenai and Soldotna area, the FAA is working with industry
stakeholders to create a Common Traffic Advisory Frequency (CTAF) Area on the peninsula, similar to
the one in use in the Mat-Su Valley. The FAA assembled a working group with local and statewide
representatives to craft a proposal for a CTAF Area based on using the current Soldotna CTAF frequency,
122.5 MHz, as an “area” frequency. This would replace the multiple different, but overlapping, CTAFs
currently assigned to airports, seaplane bases, and landing strips in the area. A proposal has been
drafted both to define the boundaries of the CTAF Area and to add a network of reporting points to help
improve situational awareness of pilots while operating in this airspace.
How we got here
Mid-air collisions don’t happen often, but when they do, they are frequently fatal. The fatal mid-air
collision between a PA-12 and a Beaver near Soldotna in July 2020 galvanized efforts to explore options
for reducing the risk of this type of accident. While not the only factor in mid-air collisions, pilots issuing
traffic reports on different radio frequencies while sharing the same airspace potentially create
distractions, limits effective communications, and diminishes situational awareness with other aircraft in
the vicinity. An analysis of almost 40 landing areas revealed a mixture of overlapping frequencies in use,
as well as airports with no assigned CTAF frequency. After collaborating on this issue through the
winter, the working group has developed a proposal to create a CTAF Area frequency and to add a
network of reporting points for use when making position reports.
Figures 1 and 2 show the boundaries proposed for use of 122.5 MHz as a CTAF Area frequency used for
the majority of the peninsula, excluding the Class D airspace around Kenai Municipal Airport.
Frequencies in use at the Kenai airport would remain the same. The 122.5 frequency is the CTAF
currently assigned to the Soldotna airport and would be expanded to the area bounded by the pink lines
on the maps below. The maps also show the existing CTAF Area over Cook Inlet to the west (122.7) for
reference – this CTAF frequency would remain the same. In addition, a network of VFR check points is
proposed to provide geographic reference features for use when making position reports.
The proposal is now being circulated to obtain user feedback for consideration by the FAA before
finalizing the plan. I encourage you to study this proposal and, if you have questions, comments or
concerns, send them the FAA Alaska Regional Administrators office by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please send a copy of your comments to AOPA at email@example.com. Your observations and
feedback will help us to refine this plan before it is finalized.
[This article was originally published at: https://www.aopa.org/advocacy/state-advocacy/Alaska/]
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
firstname.lastname@example.org or 301-695-2092.
Proposed CTAF Area on the upper Kenai Peninsula. When inside the pink line, the CTAF
would be 122.5 MHz. The reporting points shown would be added to the sectional to increase
situational awareness for pilots making traffic calls.
The same proposed CTAF boundaries and reporting points, displayed on a Google Earth