2002 Annual

Thursday, 17 January 2002: 11:30 AM
Installation and operation of a customized wind reporting network at Reno/Tahoe International Airport, NV (RNO)
D. Strawbridge, FAA, Washington, DC; and J. Salidino, D. Bryan, C. Schauland, J. Jones, and D. Hedenberg
RNO, being on the lee of the Sierra Nevada for prevailing westerly wind flow, is subject to wind that can impact aircraft operations at less than 1,000 feet above ground level (agl). Air traffic controllers and pilots have observed winds from opposing directions at opposite ends of the airport, and pilots have experienced significant losses of headwind components or significant changes in cross wind components at 200 feet agl or less while executing approaches to RNO. Such occurrences are a definite safety issue.

The FAA Western and Pacific Region (AWP) tasked one of the authors, Dale Bryan, when he was the Siting Meteorologist for the FAA Low Level Windshear Alert System (LLWAS) to assess the problem at RNO. In 1997, he performed a survey and recommended the stretegic placement of four anemometers on or near the airport. AWP then installed a multi-sensor wind system.

This paper will focus on the meteorological premises used to determine anemometer locations and how air traffic controllers at RNO use the anemometer network operationally for air traffic planning and to provide valuable wind information to pilots. It is possible to solve operational problems without resorting to extensive, expensive research programs and formal procurements at the headquarters level.

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