Buying, Operating, & Maintaining AWOS

Avoid Costly Mistakes!

Do Not modify your AWOS without consulting a Non-federal Program Liaison. The FAA has approved the current configuration of your AWOS. If you make any unapproved changes, the FAA will NOTAM your AWOS out of service.

  • Do Not add any new components or equipment (such as additional sensors or weather cameras).
  • Do replace existing components or sensors as needed. (FAA-approved replacement parts will not change the system's configuration.)

Buying an FAA-approved AWOS

Only four companies sell non-federal AWOS approved for use in the NAS: Optical Scientific Inc. (OSI), formerly Belfort Instrument Co.; Mesotech International; DPT Transportation Services, formerly Vaisala; and All Weather Inc. (AWI)

Please be sure to select an Automated Weather Observing System (AWOS) that has been approved by the FAA. Refer to the latest Approved Non-federal AWOS List (PDF).

Please also ensure that you’ll be able to hire a maintenance technician who is eligible to receive FAA-issued Verification Authority for the type/make/model AWOS that you want to buy.

Putting Your AWOS "On the Map"

To help ensure that the aviation community knows about your AWOS, please verify that it's listed on the FAA's Surface Weather Observation Stations webpage. If you see a discrepancy, click on the page's "contact us" link.

Sharing Non-federal AWOS Weather Data with the FAA and Aviation Community

AWOS play an important role in providing the aviation community with current meteorological data.

The FAA collects aviation-weather data from various sources. It then disseminates meteorological data products, such as METARs. Dissemination occurs via an FAA system known as "WMSCR" - the Weather Message Switching Center Replacement.

Owners of AWOS III (or better) can share their data with the FAA and aviation community. To do so, they must contract (for a fee) with an FAA-approved third party service provider. The service providers collect METARs from individual AWOS, and then pass them on to WMSCR.

Please refer to the AWOS / WMSCR FAQ (PDF) for further details, and view a list of FAA-approved third-party service providers (PDF).

Coordinating AWOS Maintenance Events with FAA

Please see our maintenance page.

Understanding the Different Types of AWOS Maintenance

The Different Types of AWOS Maintenance (PDF)

Bushes, Crops, Trees, Weeds, Etc.

Overgrown vegetation poses a number of risks to AWOS. This 1-page brochure on the dangers of vegetation (PDF) can help you mitigate those risks.

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Last updated: Wednesday, January 24, 2024