Wx Offices at ATC Centers Could Close

 - June 30, 2009, 5:39 AM

The National Air Traffic Controllers Association is criticizing the Commerce Department’s proposal to close the National Weather Service center weather service units (CWSU) at each of the 20 air route traffic control centers in the continental U.S. Instead of the current face-to-face briefings, the NWS has offered to send the FAA forecasts from two central facilities in College Park, Md., and Kansas City, where a “lead forecaster on duty” will be available at each of the two consolidated CWSUs via text messaging or telephone. If the FAA accepts the proposal from the Commerce Department, there would be a nine-month demonstration and evaluation of the two-center approach to ensure that service or safety isn’t degraded.