FAA Proposes Nome Beacon Decommissioning

The Federal Aviation Administration is conducting a study on a navigational beacon at the Nome Airport, with the intention of decommissioning the technology.

The beacon – dubbed the “Gold” non-directional beacon, in a nod to Nome’s gold rush past – is a radio transmitter that provides a bearing for pilots flying into Nome.

According to the FAA, the major reason behind the study – and the proposed decommissioning – is that the technology is outdated.

Dale Richards with the FAA’s Western Service Center says newer GPS technology provides a more accurate picture for pilots than older radio beacons. He also explains that decommissioning the “Gold” beacon in Nome will have little to no impact on airport operations – as there are already several newer navigation tools in place.

However, the FAA is still seeking public comment on the proposal. Comments must be submitted before December 31.

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Francesca is a reporter at KNOM in Nome.