Based on a member report received through our [email protected] mailbox on Friday night, AOPA learned at 10:50 p.m. that 12 AWOS sites in Iowa had failed to submit computer reports after the 0000 UTC rollover. These sites included Denison, Creston, Webster City, Clarion, Sheldon, Orange City, Storm Lake, Council Bluffs, Atlantic, Red Oak, Shenandoah, Clarinda, and Algona. AOPA staff was the first to contact the FAA at the Herndon, Virginia, Command Center where Steve Brown, FAA associate administrator for air traffic, was personally briefed on the report.
Subsequent information reported back to AOPA staff has indicated the problem appeared to be limited only to non-federally operated AWOS systems. These state-owned AWOS units seem to be operating normally as dial-up (and presumably VHF radio links) access still exists. However, the computer interface that collects the data from the various field locations and reports it to the Iowa Department of Transportation seemed to be the culprit. Later efforts to access the information, however, found the problem to be resolved.
While the actual calendar rollover has passed, pilots are encouraged to remain vigilant and closely monitor the performance of not only the federal aviation infrastructure, but also state and local elements of the airport and air traffic systems. Continue to check all notams, and report any problems immediately to the FAA’s FSS as well as AOPA’s e-mail address at [email protected].
January 1, 2000