Wednesday, July 08, 2015


"In general, the FAA chooses names that are noncontroversial," said FAA spokeswoman Laura Brown. I think that's a good policy in general for a federal agency. So it comes as no surprise to anyone who has been watching the news over the last few weeks that a Donald Trump-themed navigation point would need to be re-named.

Above is a RNAV map for PBI airport. While not all of those navigation points are Trump-themed, several of them are: DONLD, TRMMP, UFIRD, BRTHR, IVNKA, and AMNDA. These are the navigation points for pal Beach International Airport in Palm Beach Florida. Trump bought property there, built an estate and a golf club back in 1985. But he has fought with the airport non-stop since then, even filing a $100 million lawsuit against the county and accusing them of routing flights over his property as an act of retaliation. The spats have made him popular with no one in Palm Beach.

Every Airport has a number of RNAV beacons and navigation points to help guide planes in safely to the runway. At PBI their ATIS (Automatic Terminal Information Service) is on 123.75 Mhz, APP CON 9Approach Control) is on 128.3 and 317.4 Mhz, GND CON (Ground Control) on 121.9 and 257.8 Mhz and CLNC DEL (Clearance Delivery) on 121.6 and 284.6 Mhz. Sometimes that's abbreviated as C/D.

If you look at some other US airports, you'll see a pattern with the frequency allocations. From 108-118 MHz is where you'll hear the beeps of navaids (aeronautical navigation aids). From 118-137 MHz is the actual aeronautical band, where the tower to aircraft chatter ocurrs. But 128.825-132 MHz is assigned to commercial aviation and is in heavy use as well.

The coordinate names are used for a type of instrument area navigation, called RNAV. The points entered into the computer should be five letters long and must be unique to that airport. Ideally, they relate to the area where the coordinates are located. Both DONLD and TRMMP are pretty self evident. UFIRD is "You're Fired" his catch phrase from his crappy TV show. BRTHER is probably "Birther" since Trump is a deranged bigot. IVNKA is Ivanka, his daughter. The tricky one is AMNDA, which if you have paid attention to his TV program, you might know that Amanda is both his and Ivanka's personal secretary.

The other navigation points: CRYER, UTLEY, FINNS, PYRUT, AHABB and BAYBE seem unrelated.