FlyMKG
Topic Author
Posts: 183
Joined: Tue Jan 04, 2005 4:49 am

West Michigan Tracon

Sun Feb 27, 2005 6:11 am

Today I was listening to Muskegon (MKG) approach control and one of the controllers was having a conversation with a guy about the future of the controllers here in Muskegon. He said that four controllers are going to retire this year and that leaves them shorthanded. Because of that and some other factors he also said that there is a proposal that when Kalamazoo (AZO) gets their new tower that they might combine the Muskegon, Kalamazoo, Grand Rapids (GRR), Lansing (LAN), and some other city's approach controls all into one big TRACON based in Kalamazoo. He said this proposal had already been written up and was sitting on somebody's (FAAs?) desk What are your thoughts on a TRACON for the whole of west Michigan?

FlyMKG
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Theiler
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RE: West Michigan Tracon

Sun Feb 27, 2005 8:03 am

I guess that doesn't really surprise me. Muskegon's Tracon is basically an old TRSA, which is relatively underutilized. I can't speak for K-Zoo, but I know that Grand Rapids is fairly busy. Lansing is as well.

The FAA has been pretty big on regional TRACON's as of late... NORCAL, SOCAL, New York, Potomic and Boston are some examples of consolidated TRACON's. I'm not sure about basing it in Kalamazoo, though.
 
KYIPpilot
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RE: West Michigan Tracon

Sun Feb 27, 2005 8:08 am

Although I don't think that will happen, I would support it as long as they did not get too busy and backed up. Although it may not be a problem, because there would have to be different frequencies for different areas. But then that kind of defeats the purpose, as there is already separate ATC frequencies for MKG, AZO, BTL, GRR, and LAN, mind you they are not one whole TRACON, but they get the job done. Why fix it if it ain't broken?
"It starts when you're always afraid; You step out of line, the man come and take you away" -Buffalo Springfield
 
2H4
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RE: West Michigan Tracon

Sun Feb 27, 2005 9:34 am

The AZO and BTL areas could definitely use better radar/radar coverage, if for no other reason than traffic avoidance in such a congested training area.

When flying the VOR 31 approach into BTL, for example, it sets off some kind of MSA alarm at AZO when you descend to the MDA. Just as you're getting close to the MDA, AZO calls you and asks about your altitude. Kind of distracting...it always makes me think I'm doing something wrong, or that I misread an altitude, when in fact I'm flying the approach just fine.


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TrappedinMKG
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RE: West Michigan Tracon

Sun Feb 27, 2005 9:39 am

I think including GRR in this is a BAD idea. GRR is a pretty busy place, especially with training flights and the ramping up of service from NW. BTL & AZO might be able to share services, but I would be leery of someone controlling GRR without being able to see the ramp and airspace around GRR.
 
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RE: West Michigan Tracon

Sun Feb 27, 2005 9:49 am

Quoting TrappedInMKG (reply 4):
I would be leery of someone controlling GRR without being able to see the ramp and airspace around GRR.



Remember, Trapped...the ramp and immediate airspace around GRR would remain under positive control at GRR. Only after exiting GRR's local airspace would aircraft switch to AZO TRACON. GRR would retain their ground and tower controllers.


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KYIPpilot
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RE: West Michigan Tracon

Sun Feb 27, 2005 11:16 am

Last I heard, BTL does not have radar in the tower, even with all the WMU ops. Can anyone confirm? Also, JXN has no radar in the tower either. Those two could possibly benefit from a TRACON
"It starts when you're always afraid; You step out of line, the man come and take you away" -Buffalo Springfield
 
FlyMKG
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RE: West Michigan Tracon

Sun Feb 27, 2005 11:23 am

Quoting KYIPpilot (reply 6):
Last I heard, BTL does not have radar in the tower, even with all the WMU ops. Can anyone confirm?


That is correct. Having flown at AZO last semester and using their TRSA all the time, I can tell you that flying at BTL is less than ideal. BTL's new tower will eventually have a direct feed off of AZOs radar but they can only use it for certain things. All the WMU planes mixing with the biz jets and the A-10s without a radar is a little uncomfortable. WMU does have four unofficial arrival routes though that maintain some order. Not that I can see anything under that stupid hood anyways. Big grin

FlyMKG

[Edited 2005-02-27 03:26:38]
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