Federal Daily News

Plan to shift weather duties to air traffic controllers postponed


The Federal Aviation Administration has postponed a cost-cutting plan that would end contract weather observer (CWO) programs at airports across the country and shift weather-reporting duties to air traffic controllers.

The FAA’s decision, made in the wake of criticism from a number of quarters across the aviation industry, will result in an extension of the CWO program at the nation's airports until at least the end of the fiscal 2013. FAA also will reinstate CWO services at 14 airports where the services were discontinued this week.

Airports Council International-North America, which represents governing bodies that own and operate commercial airports in the United States and Canada, was a vocal critic of the FAA plan, and applauded the FAA's change of course.

“ACI-NA is extremely pleased that the FAA will be taking time to work closely with airport operators and other affected stakeholders on its CWO transition plan," ACI-NA President Greg Principato said in a statement May 2. "ACI-NA will continue to work with the FAA and our member airports over the next few months to ensure airport operator concerns are addressed.”

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