FAA Adds GPS Routes In Alaska


The FAA is implementing a key component of its Alaska Aviation Safety Initiative with the addition of 54 GPS-guided Terminal Transition Routes (T-Routes), more than half of which will be available this winter. The routes allow direct routing at lower altitudes to allow aircraft to duck icing conditions. A total of 33 will be active by the end of the year. “Pilots use T-routes to navigate along specific points while flying under instrument flight rules (IFR) using approved Global Positioning System (GPS)/Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) equipment,” the agency said in a news release.

Aviation is an integral part of life for many Alaskans as about 80 percent of communities are only available by air. Atrocious weather at any time of the year also makes it a tricky place to fly and the safety initiative was launched to help stem the high accident rate. “Flying in Alaska is unlike any other place in the United States,” said Acting FAA Administrator Billy Nolen. “T-routes will provide pilots additional options for completing their missions safely in this uniquely challenging environment.” After the initial implementation, the agency will develop more T-routes to replace Low Frequency/Medium Frequency airways by 2025.

Russ Niles
Russ Niles is Editor-in-Chief of AVweb. He has been a pilot for 30 years and joined AVweb 22 years ago. He and his wife Marni live in southern British Columbia where they also operate a small winery.

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