Section 3. Briefing Display


Flight service increases aviation safety by making aeronautical and meteorological information accessible to its users. Whether the user chooses a self-assisted method or to consult a flight service specialist, the goal is to provide the tools required to make informed decisions about conducting a safe flight. This is accomplished by leveraging advanced technologies to safely and efficiently deliver the information.

All flight-related decisions must be based on all available pertinent information. In a briefing, the information should be prioritized to support natural understanding that leads to better planning, interpretation, and risk identification and mitigation. Each element has a specific purpose that provides the user with reported, analyzed, or forecast conditions either at an airport or en route.

  1. Facilities must provide a briefing display for specialist and pilot/flight supervisory personnel (for example, web portal) use. The contents and method of specialist's display must be based on individual facility requirements (for example, available equipment and space). At the discretion of facility management, provide a separate display for pilot use.
  2. Briefing displays must provide all the critical information that delivers a comprehensive picture of the conditions that may affect a planned flight.
  3. The contents and methods of all displays must meet contractual requirements.
  4. To the extent possible, all materials in all displays must be current. When displaying non‐current or stale data, it must be clearly identified as such (for example, red box or banner).
  5. As every flight is unique and the conditions for that flight may vary hour by hour, day to day, multiple sources may be necessary to meet regulatory requirements.
  6. The sources and formats of weather and aeronautical information may vary and are subject to change in the future as the data is modernized.
  7. Information and/or legacy products scheduled to be discontinued should be removed from the display, as soon as practicable, upon receipt of notice of the discontinuance.
  8. Information and/or products scheduled to be updated to a new format (for example, from traditional alphanumeric coding [TAC] to extensible markup language [XML], or from TAC to gridded data) should be transitioned to the new format as soon as practicable, upon receipt of notice of the update.
  1. The suite of available aviation weather information is expanding, with the development of new sensor systems, algorithms, and forecast models. The FAA has identified three distinct types of weather information available to pilots and operators.
  1. Observations. Raw weather data collected by some type of sensor suite including surface and airborne observations, radar, lightning, satellite imagery, and profilers. Observations are also reports collected by human observers, including PIREPs.
  2. Analysis. Enhanced depiction and/or interpretation of observed weather data.
  3. Forecasts. Predictions of the development and/or movement of weather phenomena based on meteorological observations and various mathematical models.


AIM, Para 7−1−3, Use of Aviation Weather Products.

  1. All three types of weather information may be displayed in more than one way. For example:
  1. METAR or TAFs may be presented in its legacy code format, plain text, or a color-coded point-and-click icon with a pop-up.
  2. Synoptic information such as fronts, pressure centers, etc. may be shown as charts or georeferenced features.
  3. Icing and turbulence analyses, model data, and aviation forecasts may be depicted as static images or as dynamic/interactive displays that users can pan and zoom to focus on areas of greatest interest.


Providers should select the best source and format that meet the requirements of their contracts and briefing displays.


The following paragraphs are a high‐level overview of aviation weather information and products essential to deliver a complete pilot weather briefing and does not attempt to capture all information, products, and elements available. Specific products marked in italics must be provided, if available from the source.


Descriptions of aviation weather information and products can be found in the FAA Aviation Weather Handbook. The handbook discusses and explains the most commonly used weather information/products and was designed as a technical reference for all who operate in the NAS.

  1. Adverse Weather Conditions. Adverse weather are conditions reported or forecast that might influence the operator to alter the proposed flight.
  1. It is essential to emphasize conditions that are particularly significant, such as:
  1. IFR.
  2. Mountain obscurations.
  3. Thunderstorms.
  4. Icing.
  5. Turbulence.
  6. Volcanic ash.
  7. Dust/Sand storms.
  8. Tropical cyclones.
  9. Density altitude.
  10. Low‐level wind shear.
  11. Strong low‐level winds.
  12. Mountain waves.
  1. Examples of weather products containing adverse conditions information:
  1. Weather advisories. Weather advisories must include the type of advisory (for example, AIRMET, G-AIRMET, SIGMET, or CWA) followed by the pertinent information, regardless of delivery method (specialist-provided or automated).
  1. AIRMETs.


The term AIRMET is inclusive of the TAC AIRMET (that is, the legacy AIRMET) and the G-AIRMET.

  1. Alert severe weather watch bulletins.
  2. Aviation watch notification messages (SAW).
  3. CWAs.
  4. C-SIGMETs.
  5. Convective outlooks.
  6. Hurricane advisories (WH).
  7. Severe weather watches (WW).
  8. SIGMETs.
  9. Tropical cyclone advisories (TCA).
  10. Volcanic ash advisories (VAA).
  1. Weather analysis.
  1. Ceiling and visibility (C&V) analysis (for example, Localized Aviation Model Output Statistics Program [LAMP] data).
  2. Icing severity and super large droplets (for example, current icing product [CIP] and forecast icing product [FIP]).
  3. Freezing level analysis.
  4. Traffic flow management convective forecast (TCF).
  5. Turbulence intensity.
  1. Graphical turbulence guidance (GTG) for clear air turbulence (CAT).
  2. GTG CAT forecast.
  3. GTG for turbulence from mountain wave activity (MTW).
  4. GTG MTW forecast.
  1. Synopsis. The synopsis summarizes atmospheric conditions over a wide area at a given time. Flight service specialists often use this information during pre‐duty familiarization. Using data from a variety of sources, a synopsis provides an overview of the conditions including the behavior and movement of weather formations that might affect flights now and in the future. Examples of synoptic information:
  1. C&V analysis (for example, LAMP data).
  2. Current flight rules category analysis.
  3. Deterministic forecasts (for example, CoSPA).
  4. Freezing level analysis.
  5. Significant weather (SIGWX) forecasts.
  6. Surface analysis.
  1. Current (latest) conditions. Current (latest) conditions are observations, not forecasts. Briefing displays must provide those applicable to the time and route of flight and emphasize information that confirms or refutes weather advisories. Examples of current (latest) conditions information include but are not limited to:
  1. AIREPs.
  2. SPECIs.
  3. Icing severity and super large droplets (for example, CIP).
  4. Lightning data.
  5. METARs - If AUTO appears after the date/time element and is presented as a singular report, “AUTO” or “AUTOMATED” must be included.
  6. PIREPs.
  7. Radar information.
  1. Echo tops.
  2. National and regional mosaics.
  3. Precipitation categories (rain, mix, snow) including mosaics and recent loops.
  4. Reflectivity (base, composite) including mosaics and recent loops.
  5. Summary (storm tops, movement [direction and speed], development).
  6. Velocity azimuth display (VAD) wind profile.
  1. Satellite images.
  1. Infrared.
  2. Visible.
  1. Turbulence intensity (for example, GTG for CAT and GTG for MTW).
  2. Visual weather observation system(s) information.
  3. Volcanic ash reports.
  4. Weather camera information.
  1. Images.
  2. Visibility estimation through image analytics.
  1. Forecast. Forecasts are the product of models or analyses. Flight service briefing displays must provide forecasts applicable to the time and proposed route and altitude and only use weather forecasts, warnings, and advisories issued by a NWS office, including CWSUs, the U.S. military, foreign governments, or graphics systems owned/leased by the FAA or provided through an FAA‐contracted service provider. Examples of en route forecast information include but are not limited to:
  1. Area forecasts, where available.
  2. Aviation forecast discussions (AFD).
  3. Convective outlooks.
  4. Categorical outlooks.
  5. Deterministic forecasts (for example, CoSPA).
  6. Graphical forecasts for aviation (GFA).
  7. Freezing level analysis.
  8. Icing severity (for example, FIP).
  9. Maximum and minimum temperature forecasts.
  10. Meteorological impact statements.
  11. SAW.
  12. SIGWX forecasts.
  13. TAFs.
  14. TCF.
  15. Tropical cyclone charts.
  16. Turbulence intensity (for example, GTG CAT forecast and GTG MTW forecast).
  17. Upper air forecasts.
  18. Winds and temperatures aloft.
  1. Weather Features and Common Symbols. Weather features and common symbols may appear on charts and, in some instances, may be obtained as georeferenced features. The most common weather features and chart symbols can be found in the FAA Aviation Weather Handbook, Chapter 25, Analysis.
  1. Aeronautical information is an overarching term that describes some of the critical information required for safe operation of the NAS.
  2. Due to the critical impact of aeronautical information on safety and flight operations, briefing displays must be accurate, complete, consistent, configuration-managed, and secure.
  3. Briefing displays must provide the source data necessary for common situational awareness among users about flight constraints, airports, airspaces, and obstructions.

The following is a high-level list of aeronautical information essential to deliver a complete pilot weather briefing and does not attempt to capture all information, products, and elements available.

  1. Aerodrome/Airport information.
  1. Traffic patterns.
  2. Fixed-based operator (FBO) information.
  3. Phone and contact numbers for air traffic control.
  4. Available services.
  5. Airport configuration.
  1. Runways.
  2. Taxiways.
  3. Geospatial information.
  1. Electronic charts.
  1. SIDs.
  2. STARs.
  3. IFR en route charts (low‐ and high‐altitude).
  4. VFR sectionals and terminal area charts.
  1. Controlled airspace.
  2. Points and NAVAIDs.
  1. Waypoints.
  2. Fixes.
  3. Frequencies.
  1. Airspace restrictions.
  1. Prohibited areas.
  2. Restricted areas.
  3. Warning areas.
  1. SAAs
  1. Aerial refueling tracks and anchors.
  2. Military visual routes (VR).
  3. Military instrument routes (IR).
  4. Military operations areas (MOA).
  5. Lights out/night vision goggle operations.
  1. SFRAs.
  2. TFRs.
  3. NOTAMs.
  4. Obstructions.
  1. Towers.
  2. Cranes.
  3. Stacks.
  4. Wind turbines.
  1. Procedures.
  1. SIDs.
  2. STARs.
  3. Obstacle departure procedures.
  4. Instrument approach procedures.
  5. Charted visual approach procedures.