Jim Timm, Executive DirectorJimTimm.png

Temperatures are going to be going up only too soon, so make sure you get out and get some comfortable flying in before it gets too hot and bumpy.

As a final reminder to submit comments, the FAA must move to integrate unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) into the National Airspace System and they have until mid-2012 to establish a program to integrate unmanned aircraft into the national airspace at six test sites. The FAA is seeking input for the location of the test sites for integrating the UAS, and Arizona is being considered for one of those sites. The Benson Airport area is being considered as one of the prime locations for one of the test ranges. The notice for comments has been published in the Federal Register and public comments will be accepted until May 8, 2012. If you have concerns, you may submit comments identified by Docket Number FAA-2012-0252 using any of the following methods:

Click the Federal eRulemaking Portal and follow the online instructions for sending your comments electronically.

Mail: Send comments to Docket Operations, M-30;

U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Room W12-140, West Building Ground Floor, Washington, DC 20590-0001.

The document title is: Unmanned Aircraft Test sites.

An AOPA/EAA exemption request to the FAA is moving forward that proposes to expand the driver’s license medical beyond the sport pilot to those pilots flying recreationally. Flying recreationally would be defined as flight in an aircraft with an engine of 180-horsepower or less, four seats or fewer, and fixed landing gear. Operations would be limited to a maximum of one passenger and flight during day-VFR conditions. The request also seeks to boost safety by creating an educational online course that pilots would be required to complete and that would address medical self-assessment. Both AOPA and EAA have also discussed the numerous safety benefits of allowing pilots to continue flying aircraft with which they are most familiar.

From some reports that I have seen, the FAA is supposedly giving the proposal serious consideration. Therefore, it will be interesting to see what the FAA administrator will have to say about the proposal at the meeting with the administrator at the EAA Airventure in Oshkosh this summer.

In the way of miscellaneous notes:

This is unbelievable, but GPS testing is still going on. I wish I knew when they would quit. Now they will be conducting GPS testing at Alamogordo, New Mexico on April 4, 2012 from 1900-2300Z. According to the notice, most of Arizona could be impacted effectively from the surface and above and the western quarter of the state from 4000 feet and above. Once again, we would like to request, when you are flying, if you note a problem with your GPS navigation signal during the test period, Pilots are strongly encouraged to report anomalies during testing to the appropriate ARTCC to assist in the determination of the extent of GPS degradation during tests. Also, please advise us, noting the time, location and altitude.

Mesa Falcon Field (FFZ) is now in Phase 2 of its mid-field taxiway reconstruction project, which means the north runway will be closed for the construction of angled taxiway exits and installation of elevated runway guard lights. The entire program should be wrapped up by very early May. In the meantime, be extra alert when flying into or out of Falcon Field during this construction project because of the high traffic density using the single runway.

The City of Prescott has awarded the construction contract for the planned runway 21L - 3R Runway Safety Area Improvement Project. An effort is being made to coordinate and prepare for the start of construction anticipated for the week of May 8th. Be aware of the NOTAM’s for Prescott as they will be the official source of information for airfield impacts.

To celebrate Arizona’s centennial, the Arizona Airports Association is planning an Arizona Centennial Fly In at Ryan Field (RYN) on May 19. Plans include a pancake breakfast for early arrivals, a Military fly over, a wings safety seminar, manufacturer’s displays and various aviation organizations will have displays. Tentatively, the event is planned to run from about 7:00 AM to noon.

We are continuing to work with airports around the state by providing the general aviation user input in the planning process of updating their Airport Master Plans.

Since my last report to you, the NTSB has reported three aviation accidents in Arizona. Two of the accidents resulted in injuries and one of the accidents resulted in two fatalities. See my May Accident Report for a summary of the details.

For places to fly for breakfast on the weekend.

The first Saturday of the month is the Coolidge Airport Fly In Breakfast.

The breakfast at Casa Grande Municipal Airport is being held on the last Saturday of the month. Worth noting, the breakfast is served inside the comfortable airport terminal.

Both events are put on by Community Service Groups to raise funds.

Don’t miss the APA Annual meeting on May 26th. There will be early arrival treats, an outstanding program and lots of great door prizes. So, until next time, please fly safe and we will be looking forward to seeing you all soon.

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