Perspectives on Business and Economics, Vol. 40

93 route to acquire GPS capability would cost close to $350. On average, the more commonly used GPS from Garmin is the Aera 660, which costs $750 (Sporty’s Pilot Shop, 2022a). GPS systems, lifesavers for navigating mountain passes, do not inform other pilots of a plane’s position, which is the ADS-B’s job. Garmin, again the industry standard producer of ADS-Bs, sells their most basic ADS-B out model, the GDL 82, for $1800. However, the out part of this model means the device broadcasts the plane’s position to others but does not receive location signals from other pilots. Therefore, a pilot wanting to get a standard ADS-B system with both in and out capabilities would have to go with a product like the Garmin GTX 345, which has a base price of $5400. If the pilot also wants a built-in GPS, the price will jump to $5850, which, while not as much as buying the devices separately, is still a significant cost and thus a major barrier to many people and companies (Garmin, 2022). Concluding Recommendations Two viable, and ultimately cost-effective if loss of life is taken into account, reforms emerge from the analysis and would go a long way toward making aviation in Alaska safer. The first involves the building of AWOSs, especially in interior Alaska. Second, the FAA should mandate the installation of both GPS and ADS-B in and out systems in all commercially operated aircraft. Reliable access to trustworthy, timely weather information is necessary for pilots anywhere, particularly in Alaska, such that sufficient AWOSs should be viewed as compulsory. The current state of weather information is dismal, with people outside major population centers often left with little warning of inclement weather. The FAA has realized the shortcomings of this weather information network and is actively making progress toward building new AWOSs in airports across the state. As it stands, work has begun on only 8 of the 35 targeted locations for new AWOSs. Although these efforts are commendable, the FAA and local investors need to direct more funds toward expediting the construction, taking advantage of the federal dollars that now are flowing generously to Alaska. At present, Alaska has the most government support for airports and infrastructure in recent history, so if changes are made to the weather monitoring system, then these extra funds should pivot toward dealing with this issue first. An FAA mandate to equip all commercially operated aircraft with both GPS and ADS-B in and out systems is essential. Even though this would entail a massive cost for many operators, pilots have to know both where they are going (especially when flying in dangerous weather) and where others are. There is no reason for so many commercial planes to crash into mountains trying to navigate dangerous passes or that midair collisions are a yearly occurrence. The FAA already mandates that all planes flying in controlled airspace have at least an ADS-B out transmitter; unfortunately, this regulation does not apply to many planes in Alaska, as much of the state’s interior airspace is not controlled. Additionally, there is no mandate for these same planes to have an in receiver. For commercial operations in Alaska, regardless of airspace, the FAA should require these planes be outfitted with these more advanced systems. In conclusion, while aviation in Alaska is a vital yet dangerous endeavor, there is much that can be done to ensure that Alaska’s dangerous relationship with aviation safety is not allowed to persist. The FAA must address the most pressing issue with Alaskan aviation: the lack of reliable and accurate information for pilots. By updating and expanding the coverage of weather monitoring systems and by ensuring that, at the very least, all commercial aircraft are outfitted with the proper navigational and communications equipment, aviation can be safer, thereby reducing the number of unnecessary deaths.