FAA-Certified AWOS

FOR ANY SIZE AIRPORT

We apply our extensive experience designing, building, and installing systems for the US Air Force to deliver the highest quality AWOS on the market.

What is an FAA-Certified AWOS?

The Federal Aviation Administration, or FAA, regulates and monitors most AWOS systems through the Non-Federal program.

This system oversees their technical specifications, commissioning, operation, and maintenance. The Non-Federal program also oversees the non-federally employed technicians who maintain the AWOS systems in the field and the manufacturers who engineer and build them.

An AWOS is a fully configurable airport weather system known as an Automated Weather Observing System that provides continuous and real-time weather information from their weather sensors.

This weather information is run through an algorithm, and the AWOS issues reports on weather conditions at the airport known as METARs. AWOS METARs are one-minute weather observations broadcast over UHF or VHF radio and by telephone.  

FAA-certified AWOS systems are required by law to be operated and maintained at the same standard level as Federally owned and operated systems.

What is the role of AWOS?

Understanding the weather is paramount for all airports to help ensure the safety of their passengers, personnel, and cargo. An Automated Weather Observing System (AWOS) plays a crucial role in that understanding. AWOS measure a variety of meteorological parameters and process the data using special algorithms to automatically create official observations (METARs). The METARs and one minute observations are broadcast to aviation personnel to keep them advised of current weather conditions.

In the United States, all AWOS systems sold must be certified by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for use in the National Airspace System (NAS).

There are only three companies that supply FAA approved systems including Mesotech. You can find the official list from the FAA at this link.

Regular maintenance is required three times per year by a technician who has received verification authority by the FAA. The technician needs FCC licensure (GROL), training on the system, and must pass a hands-on exam.

Aviation AWOS systems are available at a range of levels to accommodate your airport’s requirements and meet both your budget and your needs. An AWOS III or higher is required to disseminate data to the flying community via NADIN/WMSCR.


What is the Difference Between an AWOS and ASOS?

While both collect and report weather data, there are some key differences between these two systems.

➤ AWOS, or Automated Weather Observing System, generate and transmit minute-by-minute updates of the conditions at the airport and report on a variety of meteorological factors. AWOS has nine levels of reporting starting at AWOS A, to AWOS IV-Z. However, most airports will have some sort of an AWOS III. While AWOS reports are automated, they may include human observations issued as SPECI reports. If the AWOS is unmonitored, an “AUTO” tag is included in the textual output.
The US has federally owned and operated AWOS and non-Federal AWOS that are commercially manufactured.

ASOS, or Automated Surface Observing Systems, are primarily operated and controlled by the NWS, DOD, and, occasionally, the FAA. They have a level of reporting comparable to an AWOS-III and AWOS IV Z. They offer hourly reports on barometric pressure, wind speed and direction, DA, visibility, sky condition, ceiling height, precipitation, and in some cases thunderstorm and freezing rain detection. ASOS systems are the National Weather Service’s primary climatology network for observing and reporting the weather in the United States and may be found in locations other than airports if they serve to improve weather awareness in areas pertinent to the public.


The US has federally owned and operated AWOS and non-Federal AWOS that are commercially manufactured.
Automated Weather Reporting Systems (AWOS) generate and transmit minute-by-minute updates of the conditions at the airport and report on a variety of meteorological factors.


What are the different AWOS Levels?

Mesotech's FAA Certified Airport Weather Advisor® systems are available in the AWOS capability levels defined by the FAA.

Each Airport Weather Advisor® system has a set of common components for data collection and processing and the AWOS level defines what sensing and reporting capabilities it has. Most airports opt for one of the AWOS III levels.

AWOS LEVEL CAPABILITIES INCLUDE:

➤ AWOS A: Altimeter settings
➤ AWOS A/V: Altimeter setting and visibility
➤ AWOS I: Wind speed and direction, temperature, dew point, altimeter setting, and density altitude
➤ AWOS II: Wind speed and direction, temperature, dew point, altimeter setting, density altitude, and visibility
➤ AWOS III: Wind speed and direction, temperature, dew point, altimeter setting, density altitude, visibility, precipitation accumulation, cloud height, and sky condition
➤ AWOS IIIP: Wind speed and direction, temperature, dew point, altimeter setting, density altitude, visibility, precipitation accumulation, cloud height, sky condition, and present weather
➤ AWOS IIIPT: Wind speed and direction, temperature, dew point, altimeter setting, density altitude, visibility, precipitation accumulation, cloud height, sky condition, present weather, and thunderstorm/lightning
➤ AWOS IV Z: Wind speed and direction, temperature, dew point, altimeter setting, density altitude, visibility, precipitation accumulation, cloud height, sky condition, present weather, thunderstorm/lightning, and freezing rain

FAA AWOS SPECIFICATIONS

The requirements for FAA certified AWOS systems are fully specified by FAA Advisory Circular No. 150/5220-16.

To facilitate fair and open competition in the non-Federal AWOS market, we have put together a set of sample specifications that are based solely on the advisory circular and are not vendor specific.

FAA Approved and Recommended

Mesotech provides FAA-Type Certified Automated Weather Observing Systems (AWOS) at various levels to suit any size airport and its weather needs.

We provide FAA-certified factory training for local airport or third party maintainers to reduce ongoing maintenance costs free of charge.

Our systems are customizable, adaptable, and remotely monitored by Mesotech’s onsite support staff to keep systems running without incident year-round.

Speak to a member of our sales team to learn more.

Airport Improvement Funding and AWOS

Federal funding is available to help airports install FAA certified AWOS. Learn more about what funds are available and how to get them.

Benefits of Choosing an FAA Certified AWOS

Choosing a certified system regulated by the FAA is an assurance of quality, safety, and value for your airport. Learn about AWOS alternatives and the benefits of a certified AWOS.

Cost and Funding Options for AWOS

The price of AWOS systems varies significantly. Learn more about the cost of AWOS systems and how purchases can be funded.