FAA intends to reduce VOR network soon

Sprint100

Well-Known Member
I'll hope this happens soon. With GPS available why even bother with VORs, since GPS is way more accurate.

FAA intends to reduce VOR network soon

By AOPA ePublishing staff
The FAA has confirmed to AOPA that it is making plans to reduce the network of VORs across the country, beginning in 2010.
However, AOPA members are not quite convinced that a widespread VOR reduction is acceptable. Survey information shows that only about half of AOPA members believe a significant number of VORs can be eliminated without affecting their flight operations.
“Clearly this marks a big step forward in pilot acceptance of GPS and reduced reliance on VORs, but members are still saying ‘not yet,’” said Andy Cebula, AOPA executive vice president of government affairs.
Despite high levels of GPS use, FAA regulations require pilots who use GPS to also carry a primary navigation system, and for general aviation the primary system available for regulatory compliance is VOR. Second-generation GPS systems that incorporate the Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) do not require VOR as a backup, but the current state of equipage in the GA fleet is about 15 percent.
In a letter to the FAA, AOPA cautioned the FAA against making plans to reduce VORs because there are several key issues currently preventing the dismantling of the VOR infrastructure. Barriers include pilot confidence in relying solely on GPS signals and the lack of systematic implementation of area navigation. AOPA pointed out that the FAA should broaden its focus to ensure that all IFR flights can be conducted from takeoff to touchdown with an IFR GPS, regardless of the airports involved. Ultimately, the FAA needs to change its policies to reduce GA’s reliance on VORs.
 

C150J

Well-Known Member
I think it depends on how many VORs they intend to decommission. A vast majority of FMS-equipped aircraft depend on DME auto-tuning supplemented by GPS signals. I've seen enough "FMS DR" messages to know that VORs are still a great backup.
 

minitour

New Member
Related News:
NDBs also going away.:sarcasm:

I can't say I'd be disappointed, but it would shock me if this happened anytime soon.

-mini
 

aloft

New Member
I doubt IFR-certified GPS installations are in a sufficient majority of all aircraft regularly used under IFR to say that widespread VOR decommissioning wouldn't have a major detrimental impact.
 

Nick

Well-Known Member
And

I hope they start with Crazy Woman.

We don't need to be paying to keep her alive any longer. :p
 

tonyw

Well-Known Member
If they do this, it will force people to upgrade to GPS with WAAS.

And that's GOOD. It's all about accuracy. A GPS with WAAS is just about dead perfect.

A VOR can be up to four degrees off and still usable.

If it's hard IMC, I know which one I'd prefer.
 

Beech driver

Well-Known Member
Me thinks the biggest factor is the amount of, and which, VORs they decommission. And how do you choose that, yet still have an acceptable level of redundancy?

I see a storm a brewing from various pilot groups.

Don't get me wrong. I think it could be a good thing.
 

Bandit_Driver

Gold Member
As said earlier they are a great backup to FMS/GPS. Don't forget about all the old cargo birds still flying. If they do have GPS it is most like a slow slow unit with limited capabilities.

My favorite is when you enter a fix and hit direct and the GPS says PLEASE WAIT because it is thinking...Sometimes it is just easier to follow the RMI.
 

ppragman

FLIPY FLAPS!
Related News:
NDBs also going away.:sarcasm:

I can't say I'd be disappointed, but it would shock me if this happened anytime soon.

-mini

Not up here!

Ace Air 22, you're cleared to the bethel airport via red 39 as filed, climb and maintain 6000 WOOOOOOHOOOOO
 

Barty

Well-Known Member
If they do this, it will force people to upgrade to GPS with WAAS.

And that's GOOD. It's all about accuracy. A GPS with WAAS is just about dead perfect.

A VOR can be up to four degrees off and still usable.

If it's hard IMC, I know which one I'd prefer.
Maybe its just me, but I'd like to think I had a backup system if the GPS in my panel failed in hard IMC. Until the price of panel mount GPS systems comes down to where everyone and their brother has their aircraft equipped with redundant systems, there will remain a need for land-based navigation aids.

Let's not forget that Victor and Jet airways, along with countless IAPs, are built around VORs. In short, the US NAS is built around the VOR.

I think what the FAA will probably decomission will be VOR only stations that aren't part of an airway or is not considered to be the primary navaid servicing an instrument approach into an airport. High altitude VOR-DMEs and VORTACs will probably be with us for some time to come.
 

flyboywbl

3rd regional in 1 year
This would be bad for us in the mountains where the MEA on a victory airway is way WAY lower than the OROCA. for instance, V86 out of BZN the MEA is 8500ft but the OROCA is 13600. In large planes that cruse at +18,000ft it really does not matter but in a piston single engine, unpressurized aircraft IFR flight is really not possible off victor airways. Will you still have them without the VORS to connect them? Would you just use the GPS system to identify the position of where the VOR used to be, as way-points, and fly between them? It would be cool if they made a bunch of new victor airways that could be identified by the gps.

just wondering what the deal is

Thanks
-Matt
 

tonyw

Well-Known Member
Would you just use the GPS system to identify the position of where the VOR used to be, as way-points, and fly between them? It would be cool if they made a bunch of new victor airways that could be identified by the gps.
That would be the logical thing to do. You know the coordinates for spot where the VOR to be decommissioned is located.

So just use those coordinates and plug it into the GPS.
 

bdhill1979

Gone West
That would be the logical thing to do. You know the coordinates for spot where the VOR to be decommissioned is located.

So just use those coordinates and plug it into the GPS.
Coordinates????

way too lazy for that sauce

VICTOR Softkey

V21-endpoint BLD Direct KHND

ENTER ENTER
 

Barty

Well-Known Member
This would be bad for us in the mountains where the MEA on a victory airway is way WAY lower than the OROCA. for instance, V86 out of BZN the MEA is 8500ft but the OROCA is 13600. In large planes that cruse at +18,000ft it really does not matter but in a piston single engine, unpressurized aircraft IFR flight is really not possible off victor airways. Will you still have them without the VORS to connect them? Would you just use the GPS system to identify the position of where the VOR used to be, as way-points, and fly between them? It would be cool if they made a bunch of new victor airways that could be identified by the gps.

just wondering what the deal is

Thanks
-Matt
GPS databases usually have most VORs in them already. I've flown with some 10+ year old GPS units that had all of the "major" VORs programmed into them. I think there were a couple of terminal VORs that weren't in its database, but they only have a range of about 25nm anyway.

FWIW, there are already some charted RNAV routes out there, the "T" airways. Like existing Victor and Jet airways, they're designed to keep IFR traffic on known routes with reasonable enroute alititudes and (hopefully) keep them from cutting the corners of 2-3 ATC sectors. Keep in mind that ATC sectors are drawn around the paths of airways, so flying on airways, or at least between known fixes, minimizes the workload on controllers tremendously.
 

minitour

New Member
Not up here!

Ace Air 22, you're cleared to the bethel airport via red 39 as filed, climb and maintain 6000 WOOOOOOHOOOOO
Hey, I flew an NDB approach about 8 months ago.

...on a checkride no less.

But I had the overlay up on the 430. Oh, and the LOC tuned up on both the HSI and the OBS.

It worked out wonderfully though.

-mini
 

ppragman

FLIPY FLAPS!
Hey, I flew an NDB approach about 8 months ago.

...on a checkride no less.

But I had the overlay up on the 430. Oh, and the LOC tuned up on both the HSI and the OBS.

It worked out wonderfully though.

-mini
Not an NDB approach (those are still around) but an NDB airway. Here's what they look like on the VFR chart (couldn't find an online low enroute charts)
 

Attachments

Polar742

All the responsibility none of the authority
OK kids, simmer down...:laff:

I'm sure the Feds won't shut off VORs that comprise the airway system, but some oddball VORs that may not be required for Class I nav might disappear.

Did you know that the frequency assigned to GPS signals is prone to interference?

Some of us, like BanditDriver said, drive jurassic planes with no/old/non-IFR GPS systems. On my ride, the GPS merely sends update signals to the INS units. Even with GPS updating, we're as accurate as RNP-5.:nana2:

Let's say I want to buy an old Commanche, and it is all steam with VORs only. I have the skills to fly IFR, by hand, in the crap (within reason and limits of the airplane of course), and have no desire to spend the $$$ to get some goofy GPS units -2 would be the minimum for me for flying in IMC if there is no other backup system, the STC and installation cost.

Also, like Banditdriver mentioned, the ability to be in constant VOR coverage along your route of flight is a great back up for GPS units. Not that I have ever done this, but say you mis-programmed a flight plan. You're not backing it up by land-based nav (I know all about the standalone capability of GPS, so it's all good), and you miss a turn or a waypoint accidently gets left out (I sure didn't do that 2 days ago;)) and you catch the error by having a back up nav source. Chances are nothing bad will happen, but how do you know there is terrain clearance or no high-speed metal objects in your path?

As far as flying approaches....what happens when your super-machine screen dies and you're down to steam? I'd practice a few without the TV on, IMO.

Stay safe out there ya'll...
 

minitour

New Member
Not an NDB approach (those are still around) but an NDB airway. Here's what they look like on the VFR chart (couldn't find an online low enroute charts)
Oh I've seen them, just never flown them.

They've got 'em up north and over off the coast.

Check out skyvector.com. Search for MQI

G31 goes from ZOLMN to MQI NDB on L-35. There are lots of others over there.

...at least there were the last time I looked at a chart as I updated it. I'm not sure if you can put a pic of that on here or not, but there are L and H charts on there.

NDB's aren't really evil...you just need to understand it. Hence my :sarcasm: tag. I wonder how many people aren't even being taught about NDBs or trained on flying direct to an NDB (vs. homing, which so many seem to enjoy doing :banghead::banghead::banghead:).

I wouldn't be sad if the NDBs all went away, but it doesn't bother me flying the procedures when required.

I kinda feel the same way about VORs. Removing them would free up resources for other needs, but having them isn't bad either.

I don't see either going away for good any time soon.

-mini
 

E6BAV8R

Well-Known Member
Why would they be kicking off VORs with NDBs still around? I'd rather have as many backups as possible.
 
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