FAA Plans to Get Rid of Sussex Antennae Navigation Aide - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

FAA Plans to Get Rid of Sussex Antennae Navigation Aide

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GEORGETOWN, Del. - The Sussex County Council agreed Tuesday morning to support the Sussex County Airport and is opposing the FAA getting rid of the radio antennae navigation aide.

The aide is called a VHF Omnidirectional Range, or VOR, and is located near Broadkill Beach. It is used to direct pilots on approach and departure.

The FAA told the Sussex County Airport they are attempting to shut down the antennae because it is too costly to keep it up. Also, GPS technology is the direction most planes are heading it.

The FAA is giving affected airports the chance to offer commentary.

According to airport manager Jim Hickin, a small percentage of planes landing in Sussex County only have VOR capabilities and therefore the airport will lose business.

"When the weather, seeing and visibility go down that's their only way to get here," he explained. "We like to offer as much service at we can here at the airport and this will be one service we won't be able to offer."

While losing the VOR will mostly affect planes in Sussex County, it will also change routes for airports in other cities such as Laurel, Salisbury, Atlantic City and even Philadelphia.

Sussex County Councilman Vance Phillips used to be a pilot. He said not only does the county stand to lose money if the VOR is removed, it would also be dangerous for air traffic.

"We have to really be careful about losing this VOR because of safety concerns, GPS is fine, but sometimes GPS isn't working just right," he said. "I think the pilots would have a lot more confidence and feel much safer if the VOR remained in place for as long as possible."

Eventually however, the FAA does plan to phase out all VORs in favor of GPS navigation.

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