FAA has published a list of 308 VORs that it plans to shut down in phases by 2025. The notice in the Federal Register appeared on July 26, 2016. The notice includes a list of VORs that the FAA wants to decommission.
This document provides the discontinuance selection criteria and candidate list of VOR Navigational Aids (NAVAIDs) targeted for discontinuance as part of the VOR MON Implementation Program and United States (U.S.) National Airspace System (NAS) Efficient Streamline Services Initiative. Additionally, this policy addresses the regulatory processes the FAA plans to follow to discontinue VORs.
For background on the FAA’s plans, see Latest Info on VOR Shutdowns here at BruceAir. Note that under this plan, only about one-third of the existing network of VORs will be decommissioned.
According to the FAA notice:
The following criteria were used by the FAA to determine which VORs would be retained as a part of the MON:
— Retain VORs to perform Instrument Landing System (ILS), Localizer (LOC), or VOR approaches supporting MON airports at suitable destinations within 100 NM of any location within the CONUS. Selected approaches would not require Automatic Direction Finder (ADF), Distance Measuring Equipment (DME), Radar, or GPS.Show citation box
— Retain VORs to support international oceanic arrival routes.
— Retain VORs to provide coverage at and above 5,000 ft AGL.
— Retain most VORs in the Western U.S. Mountainous Area (WUSMA), specifically those anchoring Victor airways through high elevation terrain.
— Retain VORs required for military use.
— VORs outside of the CONUS were not considered for discontinuance under the VOR MON Implementation Program.
The following considerations were used to supplement the VOR MON criteria above:
— Only FAA owned/operated VORs were considered for discontinuance.
— Co-located DME and Tactical Air Navigation (TACAN) systems will generally be retained when the VOR service is terminated.
— Co-located communication services relocated or reconfigured to continue transmitting their services.
According to the FAA notice:
The FAA remains committed to the plan to retain an optimized network of VOR NAVAIDs. The MON will enable pilots to revert from Performance Based Navigation (PBN) to conventional navigation for approach, terminal and en route operations in the event of a GPS outage…
The VOR MON is designed to enable aircraft, having lost Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) service, to revert to conventional navigation procedures. The VOR MON is further designed to allow aircraft to proceed to a MON airport where an ILS or VOR approach procedure can be flown without the necessity of GPS, DME, ADF, or Surveillance. Of course, any airport with a suitable instrument approach may be used for landing, but the VOR MON assures that at least one airport will be within 100 NM.
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