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Copyright © 2003 Express Publishing Inc.
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Friday — February 13, 2004


Weather landing system has been delayed—again

Express Staff Writer

High hopes that Friedman Memorial Airport’s new weather landing system would be operating this spring have been dashed again.

If and when the new Transponder Landing System is installed and operating, it’s expected to sharply reduce the number of inbound airline flights cancelled or diverted to Twin Falls.

But Friedman Memorial Airport Manager Rick Baird told the airport’s governing authority Tuesday, Feb. 10, the TLS will not be certified for use by March as scheduled. He said the Federal Aviation Administration had not OK’d the Advanced Navigation and Positioning Corp. (ANPC) installation, which is in place but not operating.

To speed up acceptance, Baird said the airport has hired a consultant, Interflight Services, which is staffed with several retired FAA personnel, to work with the FAA to expedite certification.

Baird said later that he believes the TLS will be operational this fall, nearly a year later than the date targeted last December.

The $1 million system is far less expensive than the Instrument Landing System (ILS) operating at larger airports. The TLS allows aircraft to use their cockpit transponder instrument, whose numerical code settings primarily identifies them on aircraft controller radar screens, to dial in a code that activates needles on an ILS cockpit instrument to point to a proper approach through inclement weather to the runway.

The TLS is designed to lower minimum approaches to 980 feet ceilings and 2.75 miles visibility.

Airliners using Friedman Memorial now currently restrict landings if ceilings and visibility are less than 2,500 feet and five miles (Skywest’s limits) or 1,900 feet and 1.75 miles (Horizon’s).

ANPC has installed five TLS systems in the U.S., two of which are test systems. Three of them are operational (Watertown and Rhinelander Wis., and Pullman, Wash.).


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