The FAA is encouraging the use of a new tool for electronic submission of pilot weather reports (PIREPs).
The tool is located on the National Weather Service’s (NWS’s) Aviation Weather Center (AWC) Aviation Digital Data Service (ADDS) website, and lets pilot enter real time turbulence and icing PIREPs electronically, along with other weather observations, which will then be displayed graphically and distributed nationwide.
“There are a number of benefits to this new system,” noted National Business Aviation Association Air Traffic Management Specialist John Kosak. “The information can be immediately distributed to others throughout the aviation community, as well as to dispatchers and schedulers who can use it for flight planning. Also, air traffic managers will hear of the areas where weather is constraining the system, and pilots can plan their routes to travel as safely and efficiently as possible.”
Also, the information can be fed into the NWS models to improve the accuracy of the forecasts, said Kosak, who serves as staff liaison to the new NBAA Weather Subcommittee.
“The more data that is input from across the National Airspace System (NAS), the better the forecasts the aviation community receives through the AWC on the ADDS website,” he added.
This includes human generated products like AIRMETs and SIGMETs, as well as automated products like the graphical turbulence guidance, the current icing product and the forecast icing product.
One report the NWS would actually like to see more of is the “null report,” Kosak said. For example, a report of no turbulence in an area where the pilot actually experiences a smooth ride, he explained. These reports allow NWS them to tweak its forecasting process.
Operators interested in participating in this effort should direct email inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org. The following information is required for enrollment: location name, name and email of the primary point of contact and a phone number.