September 8, 2001
AOPA is challenging an FAA proposal to eliminate two contract weather observers in south-central Alaska. The FAA has published a notice of its intent to do away with human weather observers at Allen Army Airfield (Big Delta) and Gulkana airports by the end of September. The FAA says automated surface observation system (ASOS) facilities at the two locations will provide adequate weather reporting. But AOPA contends that human weather observers should still be used because of the sparse network of reporting stations and the numerous VFR routes through mountainous terrain. AOPA has told the FAA the Alaska flying conditions are unique and demand a different level of service than in the "Lower 48." AOPA is working with the Alaska Airmen's Association and the Alaskan Aviation Safety Foundation to coordinate pilot comments to the FAA. [See also the FAA's notice and a weather station map and caption.]
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AOPA thanks our members for their continued support in protecting the freedom to fly.