NOUS41 KWBC 141250 AAA



Service Change Notice 17-15

National Weather Service Headquarters Washington DC

850 AM EST Tue Feb 14 2017


To:       Subscribers:

          -NOAA Weather Wire Service

          -Emergency Managers Weather Information Network


          Other NWS partners and NWS employees


FROM:     William Bauman

          Chief, Aviation and Space Weather Services Branch 


SUBJECT:  Changes to the Automated Surface Observing System

          (ASOS) Augmentation and Backup Responsibilities in

          Alaska and Pacific Regions on March 15, 2017


NWS is working through a formal agreement with the Federal

Aviation Administration (FAA) to transition 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 7900.5C), there is no requirement for augmentation and

backup of ASOS at Service Level D locations. 


The NWS 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 in the NWS Alaska and Pacific

Regions. Once this transition is complete, all U.S. observing

will fall under FAA policy and regulations.


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 7900.5C.


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



NWS immediately cease any augmentation and backup for Annette

Alaska which has no service level.


March 15, 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. Service Level D 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


On June 1 2017, NWS will cease augmentation at the following

sites and the FAA will assume 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    Current FAA     Current NWS     Potential Gap

            Hours (AKST)    Hours (AKST)   (when NWS stops


________    __________     __________       __________

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


This change was previously announced in a Public Information




If you have comments or questions, please contact:


Michael L. Graf

Meteorologist/International Liaison


National Weather Service

Silver Spring MD 20910

Work 301-427-9109

Cell 304-268-0691


National public information statements are online: