AOPA is reminding members that the FAA will discontinue the universal Flight Watch frequency 122.0 MHz for in-flight weather services on Oct. 1. Weather services provided under the Flight Watch program En route Flight Advisory Service (EFAS) will continue to be provided via charted frequencies pilots use to obtain weather information, open and close flight plans, and for updates on notams and temporary flight restrictions (TFRs). Pilots also may continue to use the universal frequency 122.2 MHz, the FAA said.
The FAA also will end the little-used Remote Airport Advisory Service in the continental United States on Oct. 1.
The changes come as pilots transition "from traditional Flight Service assistance to more automated and web-based tools to obtain services. Through the use of updated technology Flight Service is taking the opportunity to eliminate redundancies and underutilized services," the FAA informed pilots in a message on its website.
Providing the weather services on local flight service frequencies will resolve issues of bleed-over and frequency congestion that have occurred on 122.0 MHz. Another advantage of the change will be the availability of the services on Flight Service frequencies monitored 24 hours a day, seven days a week, as opposed to the limited monitoring of 122.0 MHz, said Rune Duke, AOPA director of government affairs for airspace and air traffic.
AOPA has worked with the FAA to make pilots aware that the frequency 122.0 MHz will be decommissioned, and is working to assure pilots that the in-flight weather services will continue to be provided on other frequencies.
After Oct. 1, the FAA will continue to monitor 122.0 MHz for several months to assist pilots in locating a local frequency, the agency said.
The Remote Airport Advisory Service to be ended affects 19 airports, and is provided remotely by Flight Service personnel. The FAA has cited a substantial decrease in demand for the service now that many of the airports have been equipped with automated weather and air traffic control.
The FAA will issue notams for each airport at which the service will be discontinued, and will update flight information publications during regular publication cycles.
The Airport Advisory Service in Alaska will continue to be provided, the FAA said.