4.6 Significant Revisions in Aviation Weather Guidance, 2015: Updates to FAA Advisory Circulars

Wednesday, 13 January 2016: 5:00 PM
Room 344 ( New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center)
Larry Burch, AvMet Applications, Inc., Reston, VA; and J. May, T. P. Kiley Jr., A. Hoprich, T. J. Helms Jr., M. Phaneuf, and R. Sultan

In 2015, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is making significant revisions to several weather-related Advisory Circulars (ACs), in order to better-align FAA guidance with the current state of atmospheric science, to emphasize the widespread availability of digital and graphical aviation-specific weather products and services, and to acknowledge recent modernization within the current operating environment of the National Airspace System (NAS).

The universe of available aviation weather products and services is constantly growing. FAA Flight Standards seeks to strike a balance in updating guidance to accurately reflect the latest in aviation weather products and services for pilots and other aviation decision-makers.

While ACs are typically updated as needed, with specific edits incorporated through ‘changes,' occasional large-scale revisions provide an opportunity to ensure larger trends in aviation weather operations are captured.

In 2015, FAA will complete significant revisions to:

• Aviation Weather for Pilots and Flight Operations Personnel (AC 00-06A). This AC will be renamed simply, Aviation Weather. The last major revision to AC 00-06A was completed in 1975, with very minor edits added in 1982. The AC documents weather theory and its application to the aviation community. While the meteorological principles contained in the AC remain largely unchanged, the 2015 revision (AC 00-06B) will modernize the look and feel of the document and add new and updated chapters and sections, to include space weather. Significant input, including updated graphics, was provided by the National Weather Service (NWS).

• Aviation Weather Services (AC 00-45G, Change 2). This AC was last updated in October 2014. It supplements AC 00-6A by providing information on specific weather techniques and capabilities. It details the interpretation and application of advisories, coded weather reports, forecasts, observed and prognostic weather charts, and radar and satellite imagery. Product examples and explanations are taken primarily from the Aviation Weather Center's Aviation Digital Data Service (ADDS). The 2015 update (AC 00-45H) is a complete revision. It is organized using FAA's three distinct types of aviation weather information: observations, analyses, and forecasts. AC 00-45H removes several legacy products, adds detailed descriptions for new products and services, and places significant emphasis on digital and graphical sources of aviation weather information.

• Atmospheric Turbulence Avoidance (AC 00-30B). This AC will be renamed Clear Air Turbulence (CAT) Avoidance. Last updated in September 1997, it describes for pilots, aircrew members, dispatchers and other operations personnel, the various types of clear air turbulence (CAT) and many of the weather patterns associated with it. The 2015 revision (AC 00-30C) will provide updates on turbulence reporting and forecasts, which are suitable for aviation training and safety management system (SMS) information.

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