Perspectives on Business and Economics, Vol. 40

90 was still soft and muddy from heavy rains a couple of days before, then a pilot who had no ATC with whom to communicate could not know this and would be heading in for a dangerous landing. Second, pilots have no idea where other planes are, which is increasingly dangerous when flying in adverse conditions. This means that in Alaska planes still collide midair at an alarmingly high rate. As a matter of fact, of the 53 crashes of the last decade, 7 of these have been midair collisions (Bureau of Aircraft Accidents Archives, 2021). This effectively does not happen anywhere else in the US and largely can be attributed to planes not being equipped with ADS-Bs, which are devices that record and transmit an aircraft’s location data to other pilots and ground crews (Montgomery, 2016). Potential Solutions Each of the above issues represents a critical and deadly flaw in the framework of aviation safety in Alaska. For any progress to be possible, the FAA, local airport authorities, and aviation industry groups like AOPA must make genuine attempts to address at least the most glaring issues. To address weather and the lack of available data, expanding and upgrading the existing monitoring infrastructure would dramatically enhance the capacity and accuracy of weather information in Alaska’s more remote regions. Improving weather monitoring infrastructure in Alaska entails local airport authorities, state and local governments, and the FAA working together toward the installation and revitalization of AWOSs. These systems act as a front line of defense against dangerous weather systems by providing quick access to accurate and timely data. Installing more such systems would go a long way toward filling the current void of weather information, thus helping pilots to know what they are flying into and how they can best prepare. Progress already has been made on this front, with eight airports—Kotlik, Tok Junction, Coldfoot, Nulato, Perryville, Crooked Creek, Tununak, and Akiachak—expected to install systems by September 2022, thanks to a combined effort and funding from the FAA, the Airport Improvement Fund, the Air Carriers Association, airport sponsors, and other external stakeholders (FAA Final Report, 2021b). Although this is a positive change for these key airports, overall, the coverage is far fromenough, with the FAA identifying 35 other airports still in serious need of equipment upgrades. Furthermore, the FAA should update and improve the accuracy of aviation sectional charts that show a specific area’s airspace, natural features, and potential hazards. As it stands, the sectional charts for most of Alaska are grossly inaccurate and provide little information to pilots flying outside of population hubs. The lack of information is already a problem for all those who fly in Alaska, but the issue is most concerning for those with little or no prior experience flying in Alaska. This is because most mountain passes are not charted correctly, meaning that local pilots must rely on wordof-mouth reporting or prior experience with the mountain passes to safely navigate through them. Thankfully, the problem of limited and inaccurate aviation sectionals, especially for interior Alaska, has been recognized by the FAA, and they currently are addressing the charting of new mountain passes. Most recently, the FAA announced that they have completed their first charting of the Brooks Range, a mountain range located near the Gates of the Arctic National Park (FAA, 2022a). This is undoubtably an important first step and should be commended but is not enough given the scope of the problem in Alaska. The FAA needs to prioritize and expand their charting operations in Alaska to bridge the information gap as quickly as they can. To bolster Alaskan aviation information resources, authorities need to make a concerted effort to clarify, update, and expand navigation regulations and standards, especially the navigation of dangerous mountain passes, and communication. For instance, the FAA, which regulates all aviation standards across the country, should mandate that all planes flying through poorly charted, dangerous terrain should have a GPS. A GPS would help pilots have better situational awareness and be better able to avoid crashing into terrain. This recommendation is pressing, given that of the last decade’s 53 crashes, 14 (26%) have been collisions with terrain (Bureau of Aircraft Accidents Archives, 2021). Beyond requiring GPSs, the FAA could mandate that all commercially operated aircraft be equipped with ADS-Bs that measure aircraft speed, altitude, and position and transmit this information to other pilots and aviation