The National Transportation Safety Board last week published nine specific recommendations to the FAA and the National Weather Service (NWS) that are intended to deliver more comprehensive pre-flight weather information to pilots. The recommendations are based on the findings of NTSB accident investigations involving aircraft encountering adverse surface wind, dense fog, icing, turbulence, and low-level wind shear. While this information currently exists, it is not always provided directly to pilots by NWS preflight weather forecasts.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Honeywell won a $49 million contract to upgrade the National Weather Service’s ground-radar, wind-profiler network that will predict severe storms earlier and provide more accurate warnings of upcoming storms. Honeywell’s work on the production phase of the next-generation NOAA wind-profiler network includes upgrading the NOAA network of wind profilers that provide upper air wind data for crucial weather forecasting tasks.
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.
On Tuesday the ITT Corporation hosted a round-table of climate-change and climate-monitoring experts here at the Paris Air Show. The Le Bourget company’s role in this vital area was also evidenced by a number of important contract awards.
NASA announced that it had chosen ITT to help the agency design and develop a set of instruments to measure carbon dioxide levels from air and space.
The National Air Traffic Controllers Association is panning the Commerce Department’s proposal–released on Thursday–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. According to Natca, these forecast units provide real-time, face-to-face weather guidance to air traffic controllers and air traffic management supervisors.
An FAA plan to consolidate all of the 84 National Weather Service (NWS) forecasters working in the nation’s 21 ATC en route centers into two central forecasting stations has drawn spirited opposition from two unions, the National Weather Service Employees Organization (NWSEO) and the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (Natca).
NOAA’s National Geodetic Survey last month said it incorporated 43 new GPS tracking sites into the continuously operating reference station (CORS) network, including 13 sites established by the FAA as part of its wide area augmentation system (WAAS). Four of the new WAAS sites are located in Alaska, four in Canada and five in Mexico. The network now consists of more than 1,200 sites worldwide.
The National Convective Weather Forecast (NCWF), which combines National Weather Service (NWS) radar mosaics and cloud-to-ground lightning data into a
six-color hazardous weather depiction, is now available on the Internet and the NWS information networks.
Although the official raison d’etre for the Friends/Partners in Aviation Weather is to coordinate the needs of users and the ability of the National Weather Service (NWS) and the FAA to serve those needs, it could be likened to a nagging spouse.
OK, so we all know that no one ever does anything more than talk about the weather. But the folks at the National Weather Service’s aviation branch are doing their best to make sure that when they do talk about the aviation climate, at least the dialogue is as accurate as possible.
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