Do you use the Airport Advisory Service (AAS) at the 20 remaining airports where a flight service station (FSS) is on the field? The FAA and AOPA would like to know.
The FAA is considering allowing its automated flight service station (AFSS) contractor Lockheed Martin to discontinue providing the service, primarily because the information is available to pilots from other sources.
AAS - sometimes referred to as a local airport advisory (LAA) - is provided by FSS specialists at nontowered airports or at airports when the tower is closed.
The specialist can, upon the pilot's request, provide weather updates, wind and altimeter information, runway usage, and any known traffic in the area.
But AAS is only available at 20 airports, and only on a part-time basis at some of them. At some of the airports, the AAS utilization rate is less than 10 percent.
All of the airports with AAS also have an ASOS (an automated weather observation system that continuously transmits wind information, altimeter setting, and weather observations) or an ATIS (automated terminal information system), which also broadcasts the weather and other aeronautical information a pilot needs to land or take off from an airport.
Pilots can also get an idea of other traffic by monitoring the common traffic advisory frequency.
"We need your feedback on the AAS," said Melissa Rudinger, AOPA vice president of regulatory affairs. "Is it still a valued service? Do you use it? Can it be decommissioned without impacting your flying?"
Send your comments on Docket No. FAA-2006-25694 to the FAA at http://dms.dot.gov. Enter the docket number and follow the instructions. Alternatively, you can mail your comments to:
Docket Management Facility
U.S. Department of Transportation
400 Seventh St., S.W.
Nassif Building, Room PL-401
Washington, D.C. 20590
Also send a copy of your comments to AOPA at [email protected].
September 7, 2006