FAA Yanks Weather Radios In Towers -- Again | Aero-News Network
Aero-News Network
RSS icon RSS feed
podcast icon MP3 podcast
Subscribe Aero-News e-mail Newsletter Subscribe

Airborne Unlimited -- Recent Daily Episodes

Episode Date

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Airborne On ANN

Airborne 12.05.16

Airborne 12.06.16

Airborne 11.30.16

Airborne 12.01.16

Airborne 12.02.16

Airborne Hi-Def On YouTube

Airborne 12.05.16

Airborne 12.06.16

Airborne 11.30.16

Airborne 12.01.16

Airborne 12.02.16

Mon, Jan 22, 2007

FAA Yanks Weather Radios In Towers -- Again

NATCA Calls Policy "Absurd"

Weather radios brought in to the control tower at Daytona Beach (FL) International Airport by local FAA managers, two days after a Christmas Day tornado came dangerously close to the airport, have since been banned by the agency. Again.

The Orlando Sentinel reports the agency yanked the radios Friday... leaving controllers wondering just what, exactly, the agency thinks about their safety.

"So they don't want controllers to know there's a tornado outside the window?" asked Doug Church, national spokesman for the National Air Traffic Controllers Association. "That's absurd."

As Aero-News reported, the controllers union slammed the FAA in December for banning the radios in the first place, saying the lack of suitable weather reporting equipment put controllers in danger... as well as those onboard a Comair regional jet they were directing to land in the vicinit of the F2 twister.

The Sentinel reports a local agency manager put two weather radios in the tower cab December 27, saying the policy banning all radios from work areas was not meant to prohibit weather radios... but the FAA reiterated last week that, yes, weather radios are banned as well, part of a blanket ban on all audio devices that could cause distractions to controllers on duty.

That doesn't make sense to several people who went through the tornado scare in Daytona Beach.

"Anything that provides a source of important information like weather should be made available to controllers," said Marvin Smith, founder of the air-traffic-management degree program at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University -- which saw its Daytona Beach campus ripped to shreds by the twister. "I don't care if it is an Ouija board or carrier pigeons. You need to have vital information."

FAA spokeswoman Diane Spitaliere maintains controllers at Daytona Beach International Airport had all the information they needed.

"Controllers have a large amount of weather information available to them in the tower, so the weather radios are not really necessary," Spitaliere said. "They will continue to be banned from the facility."

The agency did acknowledge a regional weather facility in North Florida should have warned controllers of the tornado, but it did not. As for the weather radar system now in place in the Daytona Beach tower, it only shows rain levels... not wind shear activity, or other indicators of a tornadic storm.

Spitaliere said controllers are welcome to have a weather radio... in the break room. "It's not like these controllers are blocked off from the outside world," she said.

NATCA's Church says the issue is all about safety... not about listening to music on the job.

"There's no plausible reason to remove the only mechanism to know about severe weather," Church said.

NATCA representative Kelly Raulerson added the radios put in place after the twister sound only during tests and activations of the Emergency Alert System -- they aren't capable of playing music.

"It put our mind at ease," she said. "Now we're back to zero again."

FMI: www.faa.gov, www.natca.org

Advertisement

More News

Barnstorming: Saving Santa Monica¬Ö and Enhancing The Future of Aviation

As If We Didn’t Have Enough to Do, Another Critical Challenge Demands Our Full Attention It has been a brutal few weeks… starting with the loss of our dear friend, Bob>[...]

VSS Unity, The New SpaceShipTwo, Free-Flies For The First Time

Two Years After Tragedy, The Program Proves It Still Has The Right Stuff The newest SpaceShipTwo has flown free for the first time. According to the Virgin Galactic crew, "Our new >[...]

AMA Opposes Orlando City Council Drone Ordinance

Proposal Runs Afoul Of Federal Authority Over The Nation’s Airspace... The Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) sent a letter to the Orlando City Council in opposition to a pro>[...]

Aero-News: Quote of the Day (12.05.16)

"This represents culmination of many years of hard work and perseverance by the team here in the USA and back at base in Germany too, we’re literally over the moon.” So>[...]

AeroSports Update: AutoGyro Now Type Certificated In The U.S.

The FAA Has Granted Type Certification To AutoGyro For Its Factory-Built Calidus Aircraft It seems we hear a lot about new FAA type certification of airliners and corporate jets, b>[...]

blog comments powered by Disqus



Advertisement

Advertisement

Podcasts

Advertisement

© 2007 - 2016 Web Development & Design by Pauli Systems, LC