Montana will decommission most airway beacons

Print Article

HELENA — The Montana Department of Transportation has reached a decision regarding the future of the Airway Beacon Program.

After consideration of much input and information, Transportation Director Mike Tooley has concluded that it is in the state’s best interest to decommission all Airway Beacons except the MacDonald Pass beacon, which is a registered historic landmark.

The beacons will be decommissioned using a phased approach that will allow the Strawberry Beacon and Spokane Beacon to remain operational not longer than June 30, 2019. A search will be conducted to identify an entity willing to adopt the MacDonald Pass beacon no later than Dec. 31, 2021.

The 84 airway beacons in Montana were installed by the Federal Aviation Administration in the 1930s as part of a national airway corridor network to assist pilots with night navigation. As advances in navigational technology became available in the 1960s the FAA began decommissioning airway beacons. The FAA withdrew all support of the airway beacons by the early 1970s.

Montana adopted 17 of the beacons and continued operation in southwest Montana where radio navigational aids did not provide complete coverage for night pilots. Including a beacon located north of Alberton. As navigational technology has advanced, however, the beacons have become obsolete as a navigational aid to night pilots.

To ensure the opportunity for public participation statewide, MDT Director Mike Tooley executed a charter that established a working group. The purpose of the Airway Beacon Working Group was to make recommendations as to the future of the Airway Beacon Program and to hold public meetings on those recommendations.

Three public informational open house meetings were planned and properly noticed. Meetings were held in Billings, Missoula, and Helena with a total of thirty-six individuals attending the three meetings.

MDT received a total of 125 written comments with 82 comments in favor of decommissioning all beacons and 43 comments in favor of keeping some or all the beacons operational.

The Aeronautics Division will assist the Airway Beacons Working Group to determine if private individuals or foundations would like to assume ownership and responsibility for any beacons.

Print Article

Read More News

Thompson Falls PD adds Scott to staff

October 17, 2018 at 2:11 pm | Clark Fork Valley Press Last week, Thompson Falls Police Chief Chris Nichols welcomed Deputy Roy Scott back to the department as a short-term worker. Scott still works full time for the Sanders County Sheriff’s Office, bu...

Comments

Read More

Mineral County youth recognized for Symbol of Excellence

October 17, 2018 at 2:10 pm | Mineral Independent GREAT FALLS — The Montana Pork Producers Council and MSU Extension collect hog carcass data across the state for the Symbol of Excellence program annually. This year’s winners include two Mineral Cou...

Comments

Read More

Sanders County Emergency Alert System operational

October 17, 2018 at 2:10 pm | Clark Fork Valley Press Residents in all corners of Sanders County can now be updated via the newly installed Emergency Alert System. Hyper-Reach is a telephone-based mass notifications system used by thousands of public s...

Comments

Read More

Self checks advised to catch breast cancer early

October 17, 2018 at 2:07 pm | Clark Fork Valley Press Pam Vecchio, APRN, Hot Springs Family Medicine said there are a few things you can do should you find a lump, or already be diagnosed with breast cancer. Before you start with the fight against the...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(406) 826-3402
105 W. Lynch
P.O. Box 667
Plains, MT 59859

©2018 Clark Fork Valley Press | Mineral Independent Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X