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College of Aviation

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Ed Coleman


With a focus on Alaska, this research illustrates the lack of regulatory oversight pertaining to Title 14 CFR Part 135 operators, including SMS, training, and equipment requirements. As of January 2020, under the Federal Aviation Administration’s NextGen initiative, all aircraft flying in controlled airspace are required to have an Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Broadcast (ADS– B) system installed and operational. Many Alaskan operators fly in hazardous terrain, and marginal weather, with little to no communication, yet ADS-B is not a requirement as they are in uncontrolled airspace. Alaska also lacks vital aviation infrastructure including adequate instrument approach procedures, weather monitoring stations, and communication capabilities. In addition, real-time aircraft tracking is not required for Part 135 operations. These issues have all contributed to a significantly high accident rate, and a considerable amount of extended search and rescue operations, costing the lives of many.

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