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Airport Weather Observers

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The FAA is considering eliminating weather observers and having air traffic controllers do the weather on top of their normal duties. This has been done at many smaller less busy airports but now they want to do it to all airports, including major hubs.

There is an automated system that takes weather observations but doesn't do it well. It was supposed to eliminate humans but still needs a human to augment and edit incorrect or erroneous data.

Pilot are under pressure to meet deadlines or just want to get home after a long 3-4 day trip. They may influence Air Traffic Controllers to change weather observations to their favor so they can legally take off/land when they shouldn't be. Mainly changing cloud ceiling height or visibility which the controllers would have total control of. The weather observers act like a third party mediator.

The FAA proposal would not require controllers to go outside. They would not be able to accurately determine sleet/ freezing rain and accurately measure hail size which is all dangerous to flying.

At the smaller airports the Air Traffic Controllers don't bother to mess with augmenting/editing the weather machine. They just let it run on it's own. The National Weather Service is anticipating the loss in the accuracy of climate data by ramping up their volunteer weather observing public.

Many controllers who were hired after Reagan fired the striking controllers are set to retire. They have many years of experience including a military background in ATC. They are slowly being replaced with less experienced controllers. Many with no previous military experience. They don't need extra responsibility of having to take weather observations.


If you are concerned please contact:

In the House of Representatives, here is a list of who is on the aviation subcommittee:

Republican Members:

Frank A. LoBiondo (NJ), Chairman
Thomas E. Petri (WI)
Howard Coble (NC)
John J. Duncan, Jr. (TN)
Sam Graves (MO)
Blake Farenthold (TX)
Larry Buschon (IN)
Patrick Meehan (PA)
Daniel Webster (FL)
Jeff Denham (CA)
Reid J. Ribble (WI)
Thomas Massie (KY)
Steve Daines (MT)
Roger Williams (TX)
Trey Radel (FL)
Mark Meadows (NC)
Rodney Davis (IL) (Vice Chair)
Bill Shuster (PA), (ex-officio)

Democratic Members:
Rick Larsen (D-WA)
Subcommittee Ranking Member

Peter A. DeFazio (D-OR)
Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC)
Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX)
Michael E. Capuano (D-MA)
Daniel Lipinski (D-IL)
Steve Cohen (D-TN)
André Carson (D-IN)
Richard M. Nolan (D-MN)
Dina Titus (D-NV)
Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY)
Cheri Bustos (D-IL)
Corrine Brown (D-FL)
Nick J. Rahall, II (D-WV)
(ex officio)

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