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This is a response from our Tower manager about the problem we have recently been having trying to shoot practice approaches to APA. Apparently, a near collision got the feds thinking that we shouldn't do any opposite direction approaches. As you know, that nearly eliminates any practice approaches at APA! Our tower is pushing back. More to follow. I figured you'd like to know why this inconvenience was occurring. See the below response from APA ATCT.
There has been a great disturbance in the force. Last Thursday at 9am the Rocky Mountain District (RMD) management informed its facilities that opposite direction operations (ODO) must cease immediately except for MEDEVAC/LIFEGUARD and Emergency flights. In cases like this our only course of action was to comply with the direction we were given and seek clarification and/or mitigation later. In retrospect I can see that the second thing we should have done was to alert the local airport community to the change and I apologize for skipping that step.
Over the course of the intervening days we have received a number of interpretations and gradually more focused guidance. I am now confident that the state of my understanding of the ODO climate in the RMD is up-to-date and reflective of the current policy. So here it is:
We cannot have two airplanes pointed at each other, period.
IFR, VFR, fixed wing, rotary wing, crop-duster, B747, UAV, or UFO. Doesn’t matter. The only exceptions the district will consider are those listed above. Even with a statement like that there are plenty of gray areas that are going to need interpretation. Questions like “Is an aircraft assigned a left base to RWY28 opposite direction to a departure from RWY10?” or “Is an aircraft on the ILS to RWY35R opposite direction to an aircraft departing RWY17R?” We are convening a meeting with Denver TRACON to get both facility’s Local Safety Councils (LSCs) working on these questions with the goal of restoring as much efficiency and level of service as we possibly can while complying with the spirit and letter of the District’s guidance.
The upshot of this is that, for the foreseeable future, getting a practice ILS approach to RWY35R when the airport is in a South flow is going to be problematic. I wish I could tell you otherwise. I understand and agree with your concerns about the affect it will have on the local flying community.
I remain hopeful that our LSCs will be able to craft a solution that meets the requirements of the District and the needs of our customers.
Support Specialist, APA ATCT
7800 S. Peoria St. Suite I-13
Englewood, CO 80112
JEFA members, please note that before going on a cross country flight greater than 70 NM from KAPA, or any flight into the mountains, you are required to have your cross country approved by either the JEFA Director of Training or the Director of Safety. The JEFA board is also requesting that when making a flight reservation in FSP ( Flight Schedule Pro ), that you add in comments section the purpose of the flight, joyride, flight training, local airports, etc.
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As of 02/01/2013, rates are as follows:
Cessna 172R - N20JA $100/Hobbs Hour
Diamond DA40 - N505JF $120/Hobbs Hour
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12830 E. Control Tower Road #J4
Englewood, CO 80112
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