If you fly IFR below 18,000 feet in Alaska, AOPA and the Alaska Airmens Association need to hear from you—again.  In July, an online survey was conducted to query IFR pilots about the Alaskan low-altitude enroute structure.  The results of that survey helped us learn some of the details about how we navigate the enroute structure.  While GPS is the most predominant navigation tool, about 20% of the time VOR’s are still used to fly Victor routes. It also revealed that obtaining low Minimum Enroute Altitudes (MEAs) to stay out of ice is a major desire to successfully use the IFR system.  This and other information from the survey was used to start a discussion with FAA about the possible evolution of the Alaska enroute IFR structure.  An industry lead group met with FAA in August to consider what changes might be made in Alaska to support the migration to NextGen, while not losing important qualities of the current system.

Alaska has several pockets of Class G “brown” airspace, above 1,200 ft agl. Pilots flying IFR in this airspace do not receive aircraft separation services.  An IFR pilot survey is looking for feedback from pilots regarding this type of airspace.

Alaska has several pockets of Class G “brown” airspace, above 1,200 ft agl. Pilots flying IFR in this airspace do not receive aircraft separation services. An IFR pilot survey is looking for feedback from pilots regarding this type of airspace.

More information needed
AOPA, working with the Alaska Airmens Association, is launching a second survey to obtain more information that will help inform the group concerning general aviation needs regarding the enroute phase of IFR operations in Alaska.  Questions about how the aircraft you fly are equipped, if you fly IFR in “brown” (Class G) airspace, and if you have encountered problems communicating with ATC are among the topics covered.  Taking five minutes to answer these and other questions will help us advocate for changes to improve the IFR infrastructure in Alaska.  If you are an active IFR pilot, please click here, and take the survey today!