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The FAA has withdrawn a previously published advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) that sought public comment from interested persons involving glider operations in the National Airspace System, specifically whether gliders should be required to have transponders.

In short, in response to the collision of a glider and a biz jet in 2006, the FAA was seeking justification to require transponders in all gliders (elimination of the so-called 'glider exemption'). As a result of the comments received, and the FAA's own investigation, the FAA came to the conclusion that requiring transponders in gliders would have an insignificant effect on safety in the national airspace, and that the safety improvement would not justify the substantial cost of installation.

The FAA recognizes education programs in the Reno area that have helped both glider and airplane pilots avoid situations that might lead to a collision. They also mention the voluntary use of transponders and other collision avoidance devices (TABS and FLARM) as a 'step in the right direction'.

So, for all of you that think it's not worth your time to comment to the FAA, here is a great example of the FAA actually listening to the public. We CAN make a difference.

Here's the report from the Federal Register (it will be officially published tomorrow):


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