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CameronCat

Pro mets: Your opinion(s)?

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I found this on an aviation news website. Many of us probably never realized these folks existed, but since so much "official " weather data originates at airports they might still be handy. Can ASOS et. al. be as efficient?

 

Anybody here have an opinion one way or t'other?  Just wondering.

 

Brief quote: (ATC = Air Traffic Control)

   "The FAA is looking at cutting its Contract Weather Observer staffing at 57 airports around the country, moving some duties to local ATC, according to an agency document and various media reports in recent weeks. Trained human weather observers contracted by the FAA supplement automated weather reports at towered airports, providing more discerning information including reports on weather-related hazards.
   The Fresno Bee in a report last year cited a May 2015 report (PDF) from an FAA evaluation panel, which states that weather reporting equipment has become more advanced and those ATC facilities that already provide supplemental weather data have done so for years without affecting service. Controllers, pilots, dispatchers and airlines have hands-on access to more weather information, reducing the need for dedicated observers, the report says."

 

Full story is here:  http://www.avweb.com/avwebflash/news/FAA-Seeks-To-Cut-Airport-Weather-Observers-225649-1.html

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The unfortunate truth of the matter:  The NWS (back then, the WB) had stations in the downtowns of cities nation-wide in the early 20th century.  Commercial air travel came along and we were yanked out to airports to better serve aviation and keep costs low (cheaper to have 1 station than 2).  Slowly but surely we've been divorcing the FAA since the 80s...  pulling offices back away from the airports and reducing staff.  But, the climate stations have remained at airports. 

 

Maybe this might actually do some good for ASOS improvement (though probably a new sensor, not ASOS).  A primary reason ASOS hasn't become more encompassing with its observations since deployment more than 20 years ago is because so many airports had human observers; if ASOS missed something, the human would fix it.  If our obs actually go downhill from the reduction of observers, the push to improve ASOS will increase. 

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I found this on an aviation news website. Many of us probably never realized these folks existed, but since so much "official " weather data originates at airports they might still be handy. Can ASOS et. al. be as efficient?

 

Anybody here have an opinion one way or t'other?  Just wondering.

 

Brief quote: (ATC = Air Traffic Control)

   "The FAA is looking at cutting its Contract Weather Observer staffing at 57 airports around the country, moving some duties to local ATC, according to an agency document and various media reports in recent weeks. Trained human weather observers contracted by the FAA supplement automated weather reports at towered airports, providing more discerning information including reports on weather-related hazards.

   The Fresno Bee in a report last year cited a May 2015 report (PDF) from an FAA evaluation panel, which states that weather reporting equipment has become more advanced and those ATC facilities that already provide supplemental weather data have done so for years without affecting service. Controllers, pilots, dispatchers and airlines have hands-on access to more weather information, reducing the need for dedicated observers, the report says."

 

Full story is here:  http://www.avweb.com/avwebflash/news/FAA-Seeks-To-Cut-Airport-Weather-Observers-225649-1.html

 

I used to work at airports when it was NWS observers taking the complete observation and they were contracted to these observers very early in my career. ASOS units still fail; imo, do a fair job with fog and snow visibilities.  This is just the typical government move buying the store brand cereal to save a few pennies while driving their Mercedes home from the supermarket.

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