Synthesis of Information Related to Airport Practices. Topic S04-22. Airport Surface Weather Observation Options for General Aviation Airports

Airport surface weather observations are required for several types aviation operations, particularly Part 121 and Part 135 operations conducted under instrument flight rules. The proliferation of increasingly high-performance aircraft along with growth in global positioning system (GPS)-based instrument approaches is increasing the demand for surface weather observations at general aviation airports. In addition, surface observations are important for operations conducted under visual flight rules. Weather sensing technology is improving and there are a growing number of weather sensors available to airports. The shift away from text-based, legacy surface observation products to XML formatted weather data allows for easier dissemination and ingestion into decision support tools. The purpose of this synthesis is to identify the different types of surface observing systems available to airports, the different types of operations that each type of sensor can support, and the different factors airports consider when acquiring surface observation capabilities. At a minimum, the report should address the following areas: (1) The need for airport surface weather observations - Airport customer demand; Regulatory and policy requirements; (2) Currently available surface observation systems/capabilities - Certified systems, Non-certified systems, Dissemination and data archiving; (3) Considerations for investment/acquisition decisions: Acquisition costs, Maintenance costs, Cost-benefit analysis requirements (for FAA funding); (4) Infrastructure requirements: Siting criteria for surface observing systems; Operational requirements (e.g., power, communications link, etc.); (5) Emerging technologies and trends: Sensing capabilities, Dissemination, Data processing. The report should also include background information on the evolution of airport surface weather observations capabilities from human observers to current capabilities. In addition, the report should provide a catalog/list of surface weather observing capabilities at airports in the National Airspace System (both NPIAS and prominent non-NPIAS airports), as well as identify any significant gaps in the availability of surface weather observations. The report should identify any gaps in currently available guidance material and any recommendations for future research opportunities.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $45000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 11-03, Topic S04-22

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Airport Cooperative Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC    20001

    Federal Aviation Administration

    800 Independence Avenue, SW
    Washington, DC  United States  20591
  • Project Managers:

    Helms, Thomas

  • Start Date: 20190318
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01659869
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 11-03, Topic S04-22
  • Files: TRB, RiP
  • Created Date: Feb 12 2018 3:03PM