Fairbanks International Airport Launches New Program
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Aug. 19, 2010
(FAIRBANKS, Alaska)— Today Fairbanks International Airport (FAI) became the fourth of a dozen U.S. airports testing a new system of notifying pilots about a variety of potential ground and in-flight challenges.
The program changes the Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) system used by the federal government to allow for near real-time distribution of information directly to pilots. “The new system involves conversion to a web-based mechanism to communicate with pilots,” Operations Officer Melissa Osborn said. “The primary benefit is it allows airport operations to report conditions directly to the NOTAM system and in doing so, allow for instant dissemination of critical information to pilots and other users.” Osborn added, “There are potentially hundreds of uses for this system, for example, reporting changing airfield conditions during inclement weather.”
The FAA will monitor the system’s functionality at FAI and 11 other airports to “make sure their plan is properly implemented”. New Jersey’s Atlantic City International Airport was the first airport to implement the new system.
“I am excited that Fairbanks is one of the airports selected for a test program of the new NOTAM system,” said Airport Operators and Pilots Association Representative Tom George. “Getting information on airport conditions more quickly to pilots enhances safety, and lets everyone adjust to changing circumstances. We all know that while the NOTAM system is a vital part of the aviation system, it is in need of significant improvements. It is great that Fairbanks will have the opportunity to help field this new system”“This powerful enhancement to the NOTAM system provides pilots and dispatchers the most current information to make critical flight planning and operational decisions. At airports in Alaska where weather conditions can change rapidly this is especially beneficial.” said Alaska Airline’s Director of Flight Standards, Jim Freeman.