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Alaska HF Radio to Officially Shut Down

January 6, 2011 — An extensive FAA high-frequency (HF) communications network that was in service until the early 1980s will officially go offline February 1, 2011. But it’s fairly certain no one will notice.

The HF network enabled communications between aircraft and the Anchorage International Flight Service Station (IFSS). When these communication duties were assumed by private companies in the early 1980s, the IFSS was closed and most of the HF frequencies were decommissioned; however, four HF communication sites were left in service at the Cold Bay, Kotzebue, Barrow, and Ketchikan airports - to enable continued HF capability in the event it was needed.

Over time the remaining FSS HF sites have been used less and less, and have not been used at all over the last several years. Plus, one by one, the sites have become unusable and are unsustainable due to aged equipment and infrastructure. The last operational HF site at Ketchikan failed recently and the cost to replace is prohibitive. So effective February 1, the HF frequencies that have been published for the above named FSS locations will be removed from publications.

The FAA expects no impact by this action, but should you desire to submit a comment, call the Alaska Flight Service Information Area Group, ATTN: Derril Bergt (in Anchorage) at (907) 271-2796; U.S. Mail - Federal Aviation Administration Alaska Flight Service Information Area Office, ATTN: Derril Bergt, Aeronautical Study 08-AAL-59NR, 222 W. 7th Avenue #14, Anchorage, AK 99513-7587; or e-mail 9-AAL530-comments@faa.gov.

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