FAA Wants To Cancel 736 NDB, VOR/DME Approaches


The FAA has published a list of 736 NDB and VOR/DME instrument approaches (PDF) it wants to shut down starting this year as it moves to satellite-based navigation. In a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) published April 13 the agency says the approaches facing the axe are “redundant or underutilized” based on criteria it established in 2014. The list includes approaches in every state and it’s laid out alphabetically by state so it’s easy for pilots or companies to see how it might affect their operations. Not all the airports affected are small ones. Salt Lake City, Spokane, Newark, Teterboro, JFK and La Guardia are among the international airports that will lose their ground-based navaids. Comments are being accepted until May 28.

The agency says it can’t afford to keep expanding satellite-based services while maintaining the current ground-based infrastructure. “As new technology facilitates the introduction of area navigation (RNAV) instrument approach procedures, the number of procedures available in the National Airspace System has nearly doubled over the past decade,” the agency said in the NPRM. “The complexity and cost to the FAA of maintaining the existing ground-based navigational infrastructure while expanding the new RNAV capability is not sustainable.”