FREDERICK, MD –The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) and 13 other aviation and state organizations issued a joint statement in response to the FAA’s decision against including numerous surface weather observations sites in the system that provides textual information to pilots through flight planning websites and various aviation apps.
As a result of the FAA decision, the FAA Weather Message Switching Center Replacement (WMSCR) and the Aviation Digital Data Service (ADDS) will not share with pilots textual weather available from hundreds of observation systems already in place.
The groups said, “There are hundreds of weather observations systems in operation but unavailable to the pilots who need them. These systems could provide accurate and useful weather data, and the FAA and other countries have given pilots access to similar information so they can make better decisions and fly safer. We ask the FAA to reconsider denying pilots access to this valid and useful weather information.”
On Aug. 22, 2017, the 14 groups co-signed a letter asking the FAA to 1) remove the technical requirement that non-federal weather stations must be AWOS-III or better to be included in WMSCR, and 2) allow the establishment of a new VFR weather station standard to allow fewer maintenance visits and reduce operational costs. In response, the FAA sent a Feb. 15, letter denying the request.
The organizations agree that they will continue to work this issue in order to convince the FAA to change its decision.