The FAA Weather Camera Program improves aviation safety and efficiency by providing pilots with near real-time visual and textual weather data. Pilots, dispatchers, Flight Service Specialists, and National Weather Service (NWS) forecasters receive visual confirmation of weather conditions at airports, mountain passes, and other strategic locations along air routes and areas with elevated accident rates.
The weather camera images are used by Flight Service Specialists as a source of data for preflight and inflight weather briefings. The NWS uses the camera images to support aviation, marine forecasts, and severe weather warnings. The camera images are updated every 10 minutes and assist pilots with critical aviation decision making. Multiple camera views are available at each weather camera location.
Weather cameras give users near real-time images of weather conditions prior to takeoff and during flight, via en route weather updates. When combined with textual weather products, weather camera images become a powerful “go-or-no-go” aviation flight decision tool.
The Weather Camera Program owns and maintains more than 230 camera systems in Alaska and Hawaii. They also host camera images from 280 non-FAA-owned weather cameras sites in Alaska, Colorado, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Utah and across Canada.
The Weather Camera Program began in Alaska in 1999 after the agency determined pilots, operating under Visual Flight Rules would benefit from actual views of current weather conditions. The FAA installed the 230th weather camera in July 2016 in Quinhagak, Alaska.
Implementation of the weather camera service across the State of Alaska resulted in an 85% reduction in weather-related accidents and a 69% reduction in weather-related flight interruptions from 2007-2014.
Moving Forward – the 21st Century
The success of the Alaska Weather Camera program has garnered interest within the lower 48 states. The State of Colorado installed weather cameras at 43 mountain passes and airport locations beginning in the spring of 2020. In addition, state departments of transportation and other user groups in Montana, Mississippi, Michigan, Maine, and Utah installed camera systems hosted by the FAA.
In April 2020, the FAA approved expansion of services into Hawaii and will increase image hosting services. The FAA plans to expand weather cameras in Alaska and the contiguous United States. In addition, we envision weather camera technology in the Urban Air Mobility and Advanced Air Mobility environments.
Third Party Hosted Information
Advance aviation in your area with Weather Cameras!
An investment in the weather cameras benefits aviation:
- Reduces weather-related aviation accidents
- Reduces weather-related flight interruptions
- Improves aviation flight decision making
- Enhances Flight Service operations
The FAA helps achieve this goal:
- Provides technical specifications from proven technology
- Provides guidance with site selection
- Connects cameras to existing FAA network infrastructure
- Hosts camera images on the existing website https://weathercams.faa.gov
- Leverages existing FAA infrastructure
Please contact WCAMExp@faa.gov to advance aviation safety with weather camera technology.
Last updated: Wednesday, November 09, 2022