For Immediate Release

May 15, 1998
Contact: Arlene Salac or Jim Peters
Phone: (718) 553-3015

In its continuing efforts to protect the safety of the traveling public, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has commissioned the country’s 34th Terminal Doppler Weather Radar (TDWR) at Newark International Airport.

The FAA has also commissioned an Airport Surveillance Radar (ASR-9) for Newark, a system that is a key part of the agency’s program to modernize the air traffic and air navigation system. The ASR-9 is an extremely reliable system that provides a clearer picture of weather and aircraft than older systems. It replaces the ASR-7 at Newark.

TDWR is an automated radar system that provides air traffic controllers in terminal radar approach facilities and air traffic control towers with detailed real time information about severe weather conditions, including wind shear, in and near an airport’s approach and departure corridors. TDWR allows air traffic controllers to direct pilots to take appropriate actions during encounters with hazardous weather conditions that can substantially reduce the risk to aircraft, especially during takeoff and landing.

TDWR, which the FAA has been commissioning since 1994, also provides information about microburst and gust front detection, wind shift prediction and precipitation intensity.

Wind shear warnings issued to pilots by air traffic controllers include the runway affected, type and strength of wind shear and the location along the runway where the aircraft will first encounter the wind shear.

Wind shear is a term that describes rapidly changing wind currents. Microbursts can produce extremely strong wind shear, which can pose a potential danger to aircraft during critical times of flight.

Newark’s TDWR was commissioned late last year. The FAA expects to commission 47 TDWRs sometime next year. The ASR-9 for Newark was commissioned April 16.

In 1997, there were 469,181 Air Traffic Control operations at Newark. FAA’s Eastern Region covers seven states – New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia and includes the District of Columbia.