NOUS41 KWBC 231140



Public Information Notice 17-02

National Weather Service Headquarters Silver Spring MD

740 AM EST Mon Jan 23 2017


TO:      Subscribers:

         -Customers of NWS Aviation Observations in Alaska and

          the Pacific Region

         -Other NWS Partners, Users, and Employees in Alaska

          Region (AR) and Pacific Region (PR)


FROM:     William Bauman

          Chief, Aviation and Space Weather Services Branch


SUBJECT:  Soliciting Comments on Proposed Changes to the

          Automated Surface Observing Systems (ASOS) Augmentation

          and Backup Responsibilities in Alaska and Pacific

          Regions through February 20, 2017


NOTE: The following changes have no impact on NOAA Weather Wire

Service subscribers


NWS is working through a formal agreement with the Federal

Aviation Administration (FAA) to transition Automated Surface

Observing Systems (ASOS) augmentation and backup responsibilities

in Alaska and Pacific Regions. Included in this transition is the

discontinuation of any and all NWS backup of Service Level D

airports. Per FAA regulations (FAA JO 7900.C), there is no

requirement for augmentation and back up of ASOS at Service

Level D locations.


The NWS Weather Service Offices in the Alaska Region and some

offices in the Pacific Region currently augment and backup

observations for ASOS units, per an FAA-NWS Memorandum of

Understanding, dated September 2002. At the end of 2014, the FAA

assumed general oversight of the aviation surface observation

program and moved the entire CONUS aviation weather surface

observing program under FAA policies. The remaining NWS locations

that have yet to transition to FAA oversight are located in NWS

Alaska and Pacific Regions. Once this transition is complete, all

United States observing will fall under FAA policy and



The proposed timeline below may change slightly, but the NWS

wants to ensure air carriers have advanced notice so they can

become familiar with the Non-Federal Weather Observation (NF-OBS)

Program. The NF-OBS Program is a voluntary program for non-

Federal entities to provide or augment weather observation

services addressed in FAA Order JO 7900.5. Additionally, Order JO

7210.77 has been created to provide guidance for NF-OBS weather

observing procedures and practices. Non-Federal entities, such as

fixed-base operators, airports, state and local governments, and

private businesses (NF-OBS Sponsors) provide the resources

necessary to ensure the performance of this aviation service.

Follow the link below for the complete order (JO 7210.77) issued

December 19, 2016.


Timeline of proposed changes and transition of services to the



- January 30, 2017, NWS cease any augmentation and back-up for

Annette Alaska, which has no Service level.


- March 1, 2017, NWS cease augmentation at all Service Level D

airports in NWS Alaska and Pacific Regions and FAA assumes

responsibility during FAA facility operating hours at Barrow,

Cold Bay, and McGrath). Those locations include:


Alaska:  Barrow, Cold Bay, McGrath, St. Paul and Yakutat.

Pacific: Hilo and Lihue, between the hours of 2200 to 2400 HST

when they revert to Service Level D


- June 1 2017, NWS cease augmentation at the following sites and

FAA assumes responsibility during FAA facility operating hours:


Pacific Region: Hilo, Lihue, Guam, which are Service Level C



Alaska: Service Level A: Bethel

Service Level B: King Salmon, Kodiak, Kotzebue, Nome


- Below is a chart summarizing the changes in coverage as the FAA

takes over the ASOS augmentation:


Location     FAA Hours    NWS Hours      Gap (upon NWS closure)

--------     ---------    ---------      ----------------------

Bethel       1600-0000    0100-1700      0000-1600

King Salmon  1600-0000    0100-1700      0000-1600

Kodiak       N/A          0100-1700      0000-2359

Kotzebue     0700-2400    0000-0700      0000-0700

Nome         0700-2300    0000-0700      2300-0700


If you have comments or questions regarding this public

information statement, please contact:


Michael L. Graf

National Weather Service

Meteorologist/International Liaison

Silver Spring, MD 20910


301-713-1520 (fax)

304-268-0691 (cell)


National Public Information Statements are online: