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Friday, May 31, 2013
Paul Wolf, WSDOT Aviation, 360-651-6313
The radio frequency at the Methow Valley State Airport in Winthrop will stay at 122.8.
Pilot feedback prompted the Washington State Department of Transportation to consider changing Methow’s Common Traffic Advisory Frequency (CTAF) from 122.8 to 122.9. Neighboring airports – namely Twisp Municipal, about six miles south – use the 122.9 CTAF.
While changing the CTAF to 122.9 would enable pilots in the common airspace to hear more of the surrounding activity, it would also result in the USDA Forest Service losing its UNICOM station license, which requires a 122.8 frequency. The UNICOM transmits pilot advisories when the Forest Service’s North Cascade Smoke Jumpers use Methow for emergency operations and training.
Recently WSDOT surveyed Washington Pilots Association members for input on the frequency. Only eight people responded with about 71 percent in favor of keeping the CTAF at 122.8. WPA’s board recommended making a decision that best preserves Forest Service safety and efficiency.
The Forest Service emphasized the importance of keeping the UNICOM because it helps to clearly identify aircraft landing and departing Methow, specifically during firefighting operations, emergencies and other high-use operations.
Learn more about the Methow Valley State Airport.
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