FAA is inviting public comment on their plan to decommission the Non-Directional Beacon (NDB) at Chandalar Lake (CQR), in Alaska’s Brooks Range. The station has been out of service for a number of years, however the navigation aid has continued to serve as the anchor for low-altitude IFR airways. Formal decommissioning will cause these airways to be shut down, although a GPS based T-Route will still provide a means for low-altitude IFR operations between the North Slope and locations in interior and southern Alaska.
Chandalar Lake is a remote location in the central Brooks Range, with no roads connecting it to the outside world. The 3,000 ft gravel/dirt runway provides access to this location on the shores of a beautiful lake in a glacier scoured valley surrounded by mountains. The airstrip, owned and maintained by the Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities, provides access for miners and recreational users, as well as an emergency alternate landing strip halfway between Fairbanks (162 n miles to the south) and the oil fields at Deadhorse (162 nautical miles to the north).
The NDB serves as a ground-based nav aid defining two Victor Airways (V436 and V447) and a Colored Airway (A11) which will be decommissioned if the proposal is adopted. The high altitude IFR routes (J115 and J155) will also experience an increase in the Minimum Enroute Altitude. A low-altitude GPS airway (T227), will remain for aircraft suitably equipped. FAA Tech Ops reports that the station is not repairable, and must be taken care of before environmental contamination occurs.
Action to Take
The Public Notice announcing the proposed change solicits comments through August 20, 2020. If the loss of these low-altitude IFR airways impacts your operations, you may comment to the FAA’s Western Service Center at the following addresses:
Group Manager, Operations Support Group, AJV-W2
FAA Western Service Center
2200 South 216th Street
Des Moines, WA 98198
Or via email to: [email protected]
Please also share your comments with AOPA at: [email protected]