Northwest Mountain Region Congressional Interest Newsletter - FY2017 - Spring

Message from Regional Administrator KC Yanamura

The new Northwest Mountain (ANM) Regional Office in the City of Des Moines, Wash., is progressing toward completion ANM employees, who currently occupy four facilities in the Seattle area, will consolidate a workforce of about 1,650 into one modern office. The space will allow us to better coordinate and support our mission to provide the safest, most efficient airspace system in the world. The scheduled move-in date is February 2018.

Additionally, the Denver Metroplex project is moving forward. The project’s potential benefits could include shorter, more direct flight paths, increased safety, less fuel burn and CO2 emissions, increased airport arrival rates, less noise, and improved on-time performance - for the region and the entire national airspace system. The FAA will hold 11 public information workshops in April and May 2017 to help educate the public about the project.

Earlier in February, we reached a milestone of having flown 50,000 precise approaches using Required Navigation Performance (RNP)-AR at Denver. Why is this significant? Every additional RNP-AR approach flown builds confidence in our decision making as we implement additional NextGen flight routes.

Denver, like most large airports across the country, has a significant number of arrivals approaching the airport on the downwind leg. Arriving passengers can look out the window and see the airport below, only to lose sight of it as they fly away from the airport for a final approach. Our spacing, separation rules, and arrival demand influence how far the downwind the arriving aircraft must travel before turning back toward the runway. By using the RNP-AR approaches and Established on RNP (EoR) rules, Denver can shorten that downwind leg and increase the benefits accrued.

While Denver is not the only airport in the Western Service Area flying RNP-AR approaches, it is definitely the leader by a large margin. The other airports using RNP-AR approaches are Seattle-Tacoma, Portland, LAX, Sacramento, San Jose, Oakland, Reno, Spokane and Boise.

We will continue to highlight noteworthy activities, programs and projects of interest in our region. We encourage congressional staff to contact us with any FAA-related questions or concerns. Your primary regional FAA point of contact is Leslie Lardie. She can be reached at 425.227.2040 or

The Future of Flight Service

New national flight service functions will leverage automation to save time and enhance safety.

FAA Forecasts Continued Growth in Air Travel

The FAA released its annual Aerospace Forecast Report Fiscal Years 2017 to 2037, which projects sustained and continued growth in nearly every aspect of air transportation.

The FAA Aerospace Forecast 2017-37 is developed to support budget and planning needs of the FAA. The forecasts are developed using statistical models to explain and incorporate emerging trends of the different segments of the aviation industry. This year's document contains updated forecasts for US airline traffic and capacity, FAA workload, General Aviation activity and pilots, as well as Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) fleet and remote pilots.

NextGen Arrives for UPS

UPS pilot Capt. Gregg Kastman describes the benefits his company is experiencing as a result of NextGen.

ADS-B 101

With the approaching January 1, 2020 deadline to equip with ADS-B Out, pilots and owners are looking for more information. Learn more about what it is, and how it will benefit the general aviation community.

True Stories of Air Traffic Control

Listen to a pilot’s grateful words after a recent close call in Fort Worth Center airspace.

U.S. Helicopter Accidents Decrease

The U.S. helicopter accident rate and the fatal helicopter accident rate have fallen for the third consecutive year, according to Federal Aviation Administration data.

FAA Issues General Aviation Medical Rule

The FAA has issued a final rule that allows general aviation pilots to fly without holding an FAA medical certificate as long as they meet certain requirements outlined in Congressional legislation. Beginning May 1, pilots may take advantage of the regulatory relief in the BasicMed rule or opt to continue to use their FAA medical certificate.

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