Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport
Contractors recently removed aeronautical navigational equipment from the airfield at Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport (MKC). Installed decades ago and now obsolete because of the availability of newer technology, workers removed the large “very high frequency omni-directional range” (VOR) equipment, ostensibly changing the landscape at the airport. Developed in the United States beginning in 1930s and deployed by the late 1940s, VOR became the standard air navigational system in the world for commercial and general aviation. VOR is a type of short-range radio navigation system for aircraft, enabling pilots of aircraft with a receiver to determine position and remain on course by receiving signals transmitted by a network of ground radio beacons. Ground stations were located both on and off airports to provide guidance information to pilots both en route and during arrival and departure. The Federal Aviation Administration is decommissioning the VOR system because of the popularity of new technology such as GPS, wide-area augmentation systems (WAAS), and automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast systems (ADS-B). Removal of the VOR equipment allows space for development, such as aircraft hangars.