Alaska Bill: Low Interest Loans For Avionics
Low-interest loans would be offered to Alaskan pilots if a new comprehensive aviation safety initiative by that state's governor, Sarah Palin, is put in place. The loan program would act as part of a bill aiming to facilitate the purchase and cockpit installation of Capstone-compliant avionics aimed in part at improving safety by providing highly accurate physical terrain and weather information to pilots in all weather conditions. Under an FAA-sponsored test program (in which commercial operators got the gear for free) there was a significant and immediate drop in the number of accidents.
"Alaska has seven times more licensed pilots than the national average and the highest accident rate in the nation," according to the Alaska governor. The safety program involves a multi-departmental effort that includes the Department of Commerce, Community & Economic Development. It's also key to the FAA's plans to adopt Capstone throughout the state, according to the governor. The FAA is planning to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on the ground stations that make the system work but it will be up to aircraft owners to outfit their planes.