WSDOT asks FAA to reconsider instrument approach proposal

The Washington Department of Transportation (WSDOT) recently asked the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to reconsider a proposal to eliminate instrument approach procedures at some national airports.

Three of the airports in Washington --  Arlington Municipal, Bowers Field in Ellensburg and Richland -- notified WSDOT that removing the procedures would negatively impact their operations.

Instrument approach procedures, including VHF omnidirectional range and non-directional beacon, represent a series of maneuvers designed to help pilots land in unfavorable weather.

The FAA's list of 736 redundant or under-utilized instrument approaches that the agency proposes eliminating is meant to reduce the cost of maintaining unnecessary aspects of the ground-based navigational infrastructure.

In a letter sent by Washington Aviation Director Tristan Atkins to the U.S. Department of Transportation on May 7, WSDOT requested that the instrument approach procedures be kept in place at least until the FAA implements the new NextGen satellite-based air traffic system.

In addition to Arlington, Bowers Field and Richland, the other airports in Washington that would be affected by the change include Walla Walla Regional, Spokane International, Paine Field in Snohomish County, Felts Field and Bowerman. 

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State of Washington Department of Transportation

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