The Iowa Aviation Conference wrapped up today (Thursday) in West Des Moines. Department of Transportation Aviation Division spokesman Tim McClung says a lot of talk was about the large and small airports around Iowa adding navigation systems.
G-P-S technology “just keeps coming on,” he says, and a new system, called the “Wide-Area Augmentation System” has advanced capabilities to help pilots throughout Iowa and the nation. McClung says it’s not new or experimental, though the GPS-based navigation system is more high-tech than older methods. It’s been developed by the Federal Aviation Administration and pilots around the state are looking at what it’ll take to survey their airports and install the WAAS — Wide-Area Augmentation System.
If you think gas cost a lot in recent weeks, McClung says the price of Av-Gas, or aviation fuel, was far higher. Fuel for small private piston planes has been as high as 3-40 a gallon to five-dollars 29-cents around Iowa. It’s cut down flying somewhat for those small planes.
But as discussed at the Iowa Aviation Conference, fuel prices are coming down and it’s true for aviation fuel as well. He says there hasn’t been as much effect on the cost of jet fuel, or on the amount of flying done by larger craft.