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FAA allows eastern approach on instrument landing at Hagerstown

January 29, 2002

FAA allows eastern approach on instrument landing at Hagerstown



By SCOTT BUTKI
scottb@herald-mail.com


A new Federal Aviation Administration decision should make it easier for some pilots landing at Hagerstown Regional Airport to get around a problem caused by the enlarged no-fly zone over Camp David.

Local pilots interviewed in recent days said that while avoiding the zone - increased from a three-mile to an eight-mile radius - is not difficult, the zone itself is causing another difficulty.

The enlarged zone includes space that pilots used for a precision approach to the airport's main runway.

Pilots normally would use the Instrument Landing System when approaching that runway from the east when visibility is low. But since Sept. 11, pilots had to make a choice when visibility is low between a noninstrument landing from the west or diverting to another airport.

The airport asked the Federal Aviation Administration if it would allow pilots to approach through that portion of the no-fly zone if they have approved flight plans.

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The FAA approved that request, effective last Friday at midnight, Hagerstown Airport Manager Carolyn Motz said Monday.

Pilots should find out the latest about the zone by contacting their local Flight Service Station for updates known as NOTAMs, or Notices to Airmen, Motz said.

They should also coordinate landings with the air traffic tower, she said.

The change is good news for pilots, said Howard Leedham of Greencastle, Pa., Aero-Smith Inc.'s chief pilot. Aero-Smith is a fixed-base operator and aircraft charter service provider at Hagerstown Regional Airport.

"That is a good development, not just for Hagerstown but it shows the security issues are being sorted out. That makes it a lot easier in bad weather," he said.

Hagerstown pilot Bob Enterline also praised the decision.

"That is encouraging to hear that," he said.

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