A New Approach For Chew

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Russ Chew went from the left seat of an airliner to the hot seat as the FAA's new chief operating officer but AOPA hopes a little time in a Cessna 172 last week will help him make the massive decisions that will shape the future of airspace management in the U.S. over the next couple of decades. Chew flew a GPS-WAAS approach in AOPA President Phil Boyer's 172 during a visit to AOPA headquarters in Frederick, Md. "I think he was amazed at how much more stable the WAAS needle is compared to an ILS," Boyer said. "A WAAS approach is even easier to fly than an ILS." Chew also got a firsthand look at the Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) system, which uses the on-board GPS to transmit the aircraft's precise location to ground stations and other ADS-B-equipped aircraft. Boyer said ADS-B may play a significant role in aircraft surveillance systems as the FAA moves to modernize its aging radar system. But Boyer said pilots needn't fear that they will have to go out and buy a lot of expensive equipment anytime soon. He said Chew is sensitive to the cost concerns of GA pilots. "The technology will evolve but you won't be forced to buy new equipment tomorrow," Boyer said.