Safety, customer service, and cost efficiency are MassDOT priorities. MassDOT's Aeronautics Division says all three were accomplished through an improvement in Beverly that came at no cost to the Commonwealth. Here’s what it’s all about:
Until August 25th, aircraft landing on instruments at Beverly Municipal Airport during low weather ceilings, could only descend to 500 feet above Runway 16, left, which is generally 100 feet above the area’s average low-level cloud cover. This would all too often mean that all aircraft could not land at the airport during an “instrument” approach attempt. This would result in a “missed approach” due to the requirement of high engine power to climb back to the approach altitude for either another try or to divert to another airport where there would be better weather.
Today, the new LPV instrument approach in place utilizes the new technology of Next Gen and provides greater accuracy without the costly ground infrastructure of similar precision instrument approaches. With a Global Positioning System, precision GPS approaches to the same runway can now be accomplished with better than a 98% completion rate, due to precise guidance by GPS down to 250 feel above the runway, well below the average low-weather conditions at Beverly Municipal Airport.
While there was a moderate cost to the Beverly Airport Commission for obstruction removal from the federally mandated runway clear zone, there was no cost to the Commonwealth for this significant safety and operational improvement for Beverly Airport users.
Thanks to senior aviation planner Dave Graham for this information and for his work with the Beverly Airport Commission and Federal Aviation Administration in organizing the steps necessary to make this upgrade possible.