What will 2019 bring us?
All this talk about getting a remote tower comes to a head in a few months, as our combination mobile tower / remote tower begins operating sometime in Spring 2019. While the remote tower is being tested and certified, we’ll have a mobile tower sited between the commercial ramp and Taxiway A. Initially, we’ll be controlled from the mobile tower as the folks in the remote tower shadow, and over time we’ll transition to control from the remote tower with the mobile tower shadowing (we’ll still need the mobile tower because the remote tower won’t yet be certified). We pilots won’t know or care which facility is controlling us; they will operate as a single unit.
When this goes into effect, our beloved 122.7 CTAF will become the way we talk to jetCenter (UNICOM), and we’ll use our new tower (118.4) and ground (121.65) frequencies from then on. ATIS will use our familiar 135.075, so we don’t need to retrain our brains for that frequency.
Certification is scheduled for early 2021, at which time the mobile tower will be removed.
Remote Tower Training
Our February 28 Pilot Refresher (jetCenter, 7:00pm) deals with operations at towered airports (specifically ours) and will be a good review shortly before our tower goes live.
ADS-B Out Mandate
The end of 2019 will bring us the ADS-B Out compliance deadline. After December 31, 2019, if you haven’t equipped your aircraft with ADS-B Out, you won’t be able to fly in Class B (about 6nm to our south) or Class C (like Colorado Springs) airspace. You’ll also be excluded from any controlled airspace (Class E) at or above 10,000’ MSL, or above 2,500’ AGL, whichever is higher.
There’s still a lot of airspace available to you if you choose not to equip, but lack of ADS-B Out will definitely make cross-country flights more of a challenge. FAA has a website with compliance options.
Have a fun holiday season, and best wishes for the new year!