This really isn't a big deal... I would wager that 95% of the pilots flying airliners that weren't trained by a military branch picked up most of their training time at non-towered airports. Knowing how to efficiently operate into an uncontrolled field is a pretty rudimentary pilot skill.
Heck - at an uncontrolled airport, or one where the tower is closed temporarily, under IFR the airspace for that airport will be reserved wholly for the aircraft that is shooting an approach or departing, so it could be argued that, in poor weather, the midair collision risk is lower at non-towered fields, because there isn't allowed to be more than one airplane within approximately 5 miles of the airport.
Also, keep in mind that other traffic is a heck
of a lot easier to see at night in VFR conditions. See and avoid becomes almost fail-safe.
All told, this isn't a big deal. Looking at a situation like this:
|Quoting Gsoflyer (reply 12):|
GSO has has a hand full of Delta and US flights that arrive/depart during this blackout as well as probably 25 cargo flights.
Ok... so say there are 50 flights in and out of there in the 6 hours that the airport is closed. That is, at most, 100 operations over 6 hours, which makes 16 flights an hour, or just more than 1 every 4 minutes. That certainly isn't impossible to self-sequence, and I would think that this particular airport (GSO
) is one of the busier ones on this list. I know of a number of uncontrolled fields that operate normally with 4 or 5 airplanes in the pattern. I know that it might be a hair more difficult in transport category airplanes, but the basic operation is the same.
Still - not a big deal. I don't see any reason for the FAA to pay 4 guys to sit in a windowed room to hold the hand of 10 planes an hour, at most. If they want to, fine, but if they don't want to, there is no reason to put up a fuss.
Twin Cessna 812 Victor, Minneapolis Center, we observe your operation in the immediate vicinity of extreme precipitation