May 10, 2018 - EAA has joined 13 other aviation and state organizations in issuing a joint statement opposing the FAA’s decision to exclude numerous surface weather observation sites in the system that shares textual information with pilots via flight planning websites and aviation apps. The FAA Weather Message Switching Center Replacement (WMSCR) and the Aviation Digital Data Service (ADDS) decision would omit such textual weather information from hundreds of operational observation systems that fail to meet an arbitrary standard.
“There are hundreds of weather observations systems in operation but unavailable to the pilots who need them,” the letter states. “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.”
In August 2017, EAA signed a joint letter with the 13 groups 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. The FAA responded in a letter on February 15 and denied the request.
EAA will continue to work with aviation and state organizations to show the FAA the value of sharing this textual weather information with pilots.