As people gather at memorials on the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, one means of remembrance is written in the sky. Flights headed toward Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport use procedures and waypoints that commemorate the victims of 9/11 and honor U.S. soldiers who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Aircraft flying in from the northwest use the FRDMM arrival, taking them over waypoints "WEEEE," "WLLLL," "NEVVR," "FORGT" and "SEP11." Flights from the southwest, use the TRUPS arrival and cross waypoints "USAAY," "WEEDU," "SUPRT," "OOURR" and "TRUPS."
Depending on the runway configuration, aircraft might pass through waypoints named "STAND" and "TOGETHER," or "LETZZ," "RLLLL," "VCTRY" and "HEROO."
The arrival sequences are part of the FAA's Metroplex initiative, which is creating satellite-based procedures to bring greater efficiency to the airspace over several metropolitan areas around the country.
The FAA also published a "GARDN" fix over the area in rural west-central Pennsylvania where United Flight 93 crashed after passengers and crew members fought with hijackers for control of the plane, preventing it from reaching its intended target of Washington, D.C.