Sept. 15, 2014
The FAA is readying the launch of its second NextGen-related airspace revision project of the year, with significant changes to arrival and departure procedures over the Dallas-Fort Worth, TX metropolitan area scheduled to go into effect Thursday, Sept. 18. The North Texas Metroplex project will replace most standard terminal arrival route (STAR) and standard instrument departure (SID) procedures for both Dallas/Forth Worth International Airport (DFW) and Dallas Love Field (DAL) with new procedures.
New procedures will also go into effect at satellite airports throughout northern Texas, including business aviation hubs such as Addison Airport (ADS), McKinney National Airport (TKI) and Meacham International Airport (FTW), and in airspace handled by the Fort Worth Air Route Traffic Control Center (ZFW).
Operators are expected to begin filing the new routes, STARs and SIDs after 3 a.m. (CDT) on Thursday, Sept. 18. Of particular note, pilots flying to DAL for NBAA’s Business Aviation Regional Forum on the same day should familiarize themselves with these new procedures.
“The new optimized profile descent STARs should improve fuel efficiency by allowing aircraft to maintain idle power from the top of descent to the final approach,” noted NBAA Air Traffic Services Specialist John Kosak. “The new SIDs are designed to get aircraft off the airport and into the en route environment more quickly than the old ones.”
Kosak added that any necessary traffic management initiatives at DFW will favor the new collaborative trajectory option program over the older airspace flow programs and ground delays or stops, although those legacy procedures will remain in use for now at Love Field and satellite airports.
Industry representatives have worked with the FAA throughout the implementation process to ease the transition, with information about the new procedures and preferred routes already released by the agency to aviation associations and other stakeholders.
The North Texas Metroplex team is seeking feedback from operators on airspace design, procedures, phraseology, SID/STAR issues and more.
The North Texas Metroplex project follows similar airspace changes launched earlier this year in the Houston area. The agency has applied lessons learned from that earlier project – including the discovery of charting errors soon after implementation – to the North Texas effort; additional changes that fall outside the standard charting cycles are covered by notices to airmen (NOTAMs) recently released by the FAA.
Additional changes are coming to the national airspace system in the future. Cleveland Center (ZOB) will implement numerous procedure changes on Oct. 8, with the Northern California TRACON scheduled to phase in new procedures in November of this year.