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FAASTeam Notice
Type: Local Air Safety Information
Notice Date: Monday, January 29, 2007
Notice Number: NOTC0772
Alaskan Flight Service Stations Implement Automated Flight Following
This notice expired on
Thursday, March 1, 2007

Using a web-based satellite communication application which tracks participating aircraft with near real-time position displays, Federal Aviation Administration Flight Service Stations in Alaska recently implemented Automated Flight Following (AFF) for participating aircraft.

Aircraft with AFF devices generally transmit location, speed, heading and altitude information every other minute and can be monitored in areas where radio communications and radar tracking are unavailable. In an agreement between the FAA and the Alaska Interagency Aviation Working Group, position information on federal and federally contracted AFF equipped aircraft will be monitored by Flight Service personnel so that in the event an aircraft is overdue on its flight plan, enhanced Search and Rescue (SAR) coordination can immediately be conducted.

Flight Service Stations with destination responsibilities for flight plans must first begin with a communications search for overdue aircraft to determine the aircraft's last known position. AFF will provide enhanced position information in near real-time, which is expected to improve SAR coordination and response efficiency by narrowing the area which would need to be searched, potentially down to the exact location of a disabled aircraft. This link shows the track of a participating aircraft.

Alaska flight operations are conducted in a harsh environment. Every minute counts in a rescue. Ultimately, lives are anticipated to be saved from successful implementation of this test program. For more information contact: Anthony M. Wylie, Manager, Alaska Flight Services Information Area Group, 907-271-5464.