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Author Topic: Minnesota to decommission NDBs starting in 2019  (Read 290 times)

Offline skeezix

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Minnesota to decommission NDBs starting in 2019
« on: February 15, 2019, 0313 UTC »
http://www.dot.state.mn.us/aero/documents/aviationnpress/document/midwestflyer/MFM%20FebMarch2019%20MnsDOT.PDF


Quote
Cassette Players, Pay Phones & NDBs
Rick Braunig

Its been a while since Ive ridden in a car with a cassette player. I know we have a lot more old aircraft in the system than old cars. One of the Bonanzas that MnDOT operates just turned 40 and though it had an ADF in it when it was new, that panel real estate has given way to a touch screen GPS. I hear from flight schools that their ADF that was working the day before is magically placarded inoperative for flight tests. Its been a while since we at MnDOT have considered NDBs a key navigational aid in our system. As GPS became the primary navigational tool our NDBs transitioned to being radio stations for the broadcast of airport weather. Weve now transitioned those weather broadcasts to VHF with the exception of Bigfork and that will happen in 2019.

MnDOT has 35 NDBs in our system. These are owned, operated and maintained by the Office of Aeronautics. Like all our navigation aids they need regular inspections and occasionally they fail and need repair. Some of the NDBs are an old design and we are having to scavenge parts to keep them running. While many of the NDBs are on airport property, 11 of ours are Locator Outer Markers on land that is off the airport and must be leased. One prominent NDB HOPEY is on leased land and the land owner has told us they do not intend to renew our lease. What you should understand is that NDBs cost money to keep them operating. 

The FAA has started to implement their VORMON program, which stands for VOR Minimum Operating Network. If you are unaware of the details, under the VORMON program they are increasing the service area of VORs from 40 to 80 miles and eliminating VORs where there is overlap. We have seen two Federal VORs in Minnesota shutdown under the VORMON program and a number of others are on the list for the coming years. This will eliminate the VOR approaches associated with those navigational aids. Reading between the lines, if you want to operate in instrument conditions you need to have a GPS receiver with the capability to fly GPS based approaches.

All the Minnesota Airports with NDB based instrument approaches have GPS based approaches that provide equal or lower minimums. That means at least two approaches exist for all of the runways served by an NDB approach. The FAA reviews all instrument approaches every two years. Right now, it takes more than two years to get a new approach. Eliminating duplicate approaches to a runway helps to reduce the FAAs workload and hopefully will help them be more responsive to new requests.

In 2019 MnDOT will start the process of decommissioning our NDBs. The dollars we save on NDB operating and maintenance costs will help to maintain and improve the system in other ways. We are seeing increased costs for our weather stations and we want to continue to improve the other navigation aids at Minnesota airports. The decommissioning process will include notice through our website and social media, as well as written notice to the local communities and surrounding airports, and will allow for users to provide feedback. 

I am excited about how GPS has improved the safety of the system and provides better access to airports. Unfortunately, like cassette players and pay phones, we feel the time has come to retire the remaining NDBs in Minnesota.



« Last Edit: February 15, 2019, 0317 UTC by skeezix »
Minneapolis, MN

Offline Josh

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Re: Minnesota to decommission NDBs starting in 2019
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2019, 2104 UTC »
One emp and they'll wish they'd have kept that already paid for ndb infrastructure intact.
Conveniently located near Vincennes Indiana.

Offline pinto vortando

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Re: Minnesota to decommission NDBs starting in 2019
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2019, 2037 UTC »
Sad for the SWL beacon hunter type but probably not too lamented by the pilot community.
For better or worse, all the eggs are going into the GPS basket. 
It takes considerably more skill track a NDB than it does to fly looking at a screen.
With fewer an fewer NDB approaches, that skill diminishes rapidly if not used.

Seems that the Canadians are not in such a hurry to shut down their beacons.
The NDB may be the only radio navaid at many remote strips.  At one time, without even looking
at the side number you knew you were sitting in the cockpit of a Canadian single or twin 
if it were equipped with dual ADFs.   
Das Radiobunker somewhere in Michigan

Offline BoomboxDX

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Re: Minnesota to decommission NDBs starting in 2019
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2019, 0736 UTC »
One emp and they'll wish they'd have kept that already paid for ndb infrastructure intact.

Or major war. GPS could conceivably be hacked or otherwise taken down in a major war.
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Offline Josh

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Re: Minnesota to decommission NDBs starting in 2019
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2019, 1932 UTC »
One emp and they'll wish they'd have kept that already paid for ndb infrastructure intact.



Or major war. GPS could conceivably be hacked or otherwise taken down in a major war.

Yep, in a big one the sats will be the first to go, and the debris from just a few select birds will end up taking out the rest of them up there I recon. US mil has the ability to fudge our gps system so only they get accurate readings. I suppose them rooskiis can fudge their system too.
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Offline JimIO

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Re: Minnesota to decommission NDBs starting in 2019
« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2019, 1808 UTC »
Eltrumpo and his cartel are not planning the next big one. They want it to be FABULOUS!    ;D
« Last Edit: February 18, 2019, 1811 UTC by JimIO »

Offline Josh

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Re: Minnesota to decommission NDBs starting in 2019
« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2019, 1903 UTC »
It'll be yugely MAGA. Also time to stop the neverending story wars started by the bush crime family and continued under the corrupt and discredited 0bama regime and do a proper war.
Conveniently located near Vincennes Indiana.

Offline skeezix

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Re: Minnesota to decommission NDBs starting in 2019
« Reply #7 on: February 24, 2019, 1702 UTC »
Don't even need an EMP:

GPS, ADS-B may be out in Southeast during 'interference tests'
USAF Is Jamming GPS In The Western U.S. For Largest Ever Red Flag Air War Exercise

Meanwhile, LORAN-C was decommissioned in 2010, and the FAA is phasing out VORs, ILS, and NDBs. The VORs & ILS may not completely go away, but will be in greatly reduced numbers.

GPS & ILS approaches are superior to NDB, but NDBs are a simple and good backup. Does take a bit more skill to use them correctly, but far easier to use than a dead GPS.

Minneapolis, MN

Offline BoomboxDX

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Re: Minnesota to decommission NDBs starting in 2019
« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2019, 1231 UTC »
One emp and they'll wish they'd have kept that already paid for ndb infrastructure intact.



Or major war. GPS could conceivably be hacked or otherwise taken down in a major war.

Yep, in a big one the sats will be the first to go, and the debris from just a few select birds will end up taking out the rest of them up there I recon. US mil has the ability to fudge our gps system so only they get accurate readings. I suppose them rooskiis can fudge their system too.

The Europeans have their Galileo system, because they do not want to depend on GPS or the Russian's system.

The US apparently stated they would shoot down Galileo if it was used by foreign powers to attack the US.

All is apparently not lollipops and rainbows in the global positioning world.
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The usual Realistic culprits on SW (and a Panasonic).

Offline redhat

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Re: Minnesota to decommission NDBs starting in 2019
« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2019, 1539 UTC »
All the more reason to have your own cesium beam clock, I suppose.

...I have always wanted one!

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