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Friday, July 22, 2011

See and Avoid

New FAA Web Site Targets Midair Collisions

A new web site hosted by the FAA in conjunction with the Department of Defense aims to provide general aviation pilots with information about operations in military airspace. "This portal will allow users to find and link to all existing military Mid-Air Collision Avoidance (MACA) programs in a single web site, while also enjoying new access to information from military bases that did not previously have web-based content," the FAA said on Wednesday. "Our goal is to eliminate mid-air collisions and reduce close calls through continuous flight safety and proper flight planning." The site,, is designed for ease of use, with lots of Google maps and graphics. Data is included from the MACA programs of all DoD aviation installations in the continental U.S., Alaska, Hawaii, the Virgin Islands, Guam and Puerto Rico.
Since 1978, there has been an average of 30 midair collisions in the U.S. each year, the FAA said, resulting in an average of 75 deaths per year. There are also over 450 near-collisions reported each year. As recently as February 2006, a civilian pilot was killed when his airplane crashed after colliding with an Air Force jet. The FAA noted that some military action may not be displayed at the new site, so pilots must still be cautious when flying in airspace that might be used by military aircraft. A user's guide to the web site will be available later this summer, the FAA said.

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