Amarillo, TX - With evolving technology, officials tell us one tool in particular is diminishing.
Watching the progress of a two-way radio transmitting tower come down this week, is a prime example of the FAA keeping up with the time. Pilots are now said to be operators of many systems.
But with the technology of two-way radios becoming basically obsolete, will that skill even be necessary?
All week, we have seen these towers coming down in Amarillo.
"What's going on is these remote control relay links are no longer being used throughout the country. They're going to new technology...fiber optics," says Randy Perl, Resident Engineer of the Parson Corporation.
Local pilot John Whitaker says the old system was quite useful, in that it was more "hands-on"
"Most beneficial because when you're coming into an airport say for instance Tradewind, Tradewind has no tower control, no radar control. If we fly in the Amarillo air space, then we're own approach control," says Whitaker.
Perl travels the country taking the towers down. he says technology changing over to satellite and fiber-optic systems will ultimately be a good thing.
"These remote control relay links are no longer being used throughout the country," says Perl. "There's new technology and better communication. This is sending out the VHF/UHF voice and data information to air traffic control and the pilots."
And while Whitaker says he will miss the radio tool when it is completely gone, he is pleased with the new forms of communication.
"Like in the satellite giving us communication. I know eventually it will be there. We have transmitting towers and radar and things like that, so it's going to be a big thing because it's always moving."