FAA Alaska Aviation Safety Initiative

Aviation in Alaska is a way of life and an absolute necessity for much of the state with 82% of communities accessible only by air. Aviation safety in Alaska has made great strides since the late 1990's, and the FAA recognizes the importance of continuous improvements to aviation safety standards and practices. 

The FAA has teamed with the flying community in a yearlong, sweeping examination of safety issues specific to the challenges of flying in Alaska. The FAA Alaska Aviation Safety Initiative (FAASI) team has developed a comprehensive blueprint for increasing aviation safety in Alaska through the management, improvement, and implementation of new and current initiatives.

2024 FAA Alaska Aviation Safety Initiative Roadmap

Steps the FAA has taken

Three of the 11 original FAASI recommendations are complete, six have made significant progress, and two new recommendations were added. Highlights include:

  • The FAA has published 54 new GPS-guided T-routes in Alaska.
  • Sectional Aeronautical Charts now identify the Naqsralugiaq and Carter passes; providing pilots more accurate information while crossing major mountainous areas.
  • Alaska charting issues have been included as an agenda item at the Aeronautical Charting Meetings (ACMs). 
    • Alaska specific needs and chart supplement modernization efforts will continue to be a focus at ACMs in the future.
  • Seven of eight new Automated Weather Observing Systems were installed to provide continuous, real-time and accurate weather information on remote areas of Alaska to pilots before they take off. 
  • The Visual Weather Observation System test and evaluation period was completed in July 2022. VWOS continues to function and transmit information at four Alaska locations – Eek, Tatitlek, Healy River, and Palmer. The FAA is currently pursuing business models and funding for full program implementation of the VWOS system in the National Airspace System. 
  • The Alaska GPS Navigation Policy Group completed its examination of how GPS-only navigation systems are treated with respect to regulatory requirements for independent navigation systems. The Group submitted document change proposals, which were published in March 2024.
  • The FAA is collaborating with aircraft operators to identify T-Route segments within Alaska where establishing charted and acceptable air traffic control communications gaps would be beneficial
  • The GPS resiliency team conducted multiple stakeholder outreach engagements, and reliable coverage charts for Very High Frequency Omni-Directional Range and Navigation System Data Base throughout the region have been developed.
  • The Joint Resources Council approval of the Automatic Dependent Surveillance–Broadcast Service Expansion Project provides funding and enables completion of all service expansion and site coverage assessments for each of the five Service Volumes. Site surveys for nine Ground-Based Transmitters deployment locations were completed, and design reviews were presented and approved for three of the five Service Volumes to be provisioned by the expansion.

FY2023 FAA Alaska Aviation Safety Initiative Final Report

alaska aviation safety infographic

Recent Successes