...As FAA Amends "Flight Plan"

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The FAA has reviewed comments from the industry and amended its "Flight Plan 2005-2009" strategy document to include three key "waypoints" that AOPA was advocating, AOPA said last week -- but AOPA was hoping for more. "The 'Flight Plan' now recognizes that the Notice to Airmen system has got to be streamlined," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. The FAA also said it will earmark Airport Improvement Program funds for upgrading reliever and secondary airports near major cities, and will work with the industry to improve GA safety, AOPA said. However, Boyer said, "We are disappointed that the agency did not include a strategy for mitigating the effects of security-related airspace restrictions on general aviation, as we had asked." Also, the FAA was "distressingly vague" on a commitment to improve access to GA airports by publishing new Wide Area Augmentation System instrument approaches, AOPA said. And the agency said nothing about providing the additional ground infrastructure (approach lighting, precision runway markings, etc.) necessary to get the lowest possible WAAS approach minimums.