Aviation In Canada

Friday, August 26, 2005

"Hot Areas" Mapped Online

One of the many areas in which the Canadian Air Navigation System is concerned with safety involves the large number of warning and restricted areas across the country. There are rocket ranges, military flying areas, and all kinds of other activities. If they're marked as continuously active, then it's pretty easy for a pilot to know they're active (now they just have to look a chart to figure out where they are). A large number of these are, however, not active continuously. They are plotted on charts and NOTAMed active. Many pilots seem to be quite willing to fly into a region without making themselves aware of the NOTAMs. In any case, the US FAA has taken another step that's quite interesting. A reader sent me this release, so I'm copying it here:

An FAA database called the special-use airspace management system
(SAMS) now will tell anyone with Internet access whether any
restricted area, military operations area, military route, or warning
area anywhere in the country is going to be "hot," AOPA said on
Monday. It updates every six minutes, and the schedule is accurate 24
hours in advance. AOPA said it has been lobbying for access to this
information since 2001. SAMS has been in the works for a while, AOPA
said, but it took time for the FAA to coordinate with all the Air
Traffic Control centers to ensure that the data is kept updated.

Interesting read, no? What about the concept, too? I think it's great to have this stuff available, personally, though I'm not sure just who would be surfing the internet while flying a plane...