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The AWRP review and decision


process applies criteria to weather products at various 
stages . The stages are composed of the following: 


Sponsorship of user needs. 


R & D and controlled testing. 


Experimental application. 


Operational application. 


Pilots and operators should be aware that 

weather services provided by entities other than FAA, 
NWS, or their contractors may not meet FAA/NWS 
quality control standards. Hence, operators and pilots 
contemplating using such services should request 
and/or review an appropriate description of services 
and provider disclosure. This should include, but is 
not limited to, the type of weather product (for 
example, current weather or forecast weather), the 
currency of the product (that is, product issue and 
valid times), and the relevance of the product. Pilots 
and operators should be cautious when using 
unfamiliar products, or products not supported by 
FAA/NWS technical specifications. 



When in doubt, consult with a FAA Flight Service Station 


In addition, pilots and operators should be 

aware there are weather services and products 
available from government organizations beyond the 
scope of the AWRP process mentioned earlier in this 
section. For example, governmental agencies such as 
the NWS and the Aviation Weather Center (AWC), or 
research organizations such as  the National Center 
for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) display weather 
“model data” and “experimental” products which 
require training and/or expertise to properly interpret 
and use. These products are developmental proto-
types that are subject to ongoing research and can 
change without notice. Therefore, some data on 
display by government organizations, or government 
data on display by independent organizations may be 
unsuitable for flight planning purposes. Operators 
and pilots contemplating using such services should 
request and/or review an appropriate description of 
services and provider disclosure. This should include, 
but is not limited to, the type of weather product (for 
example, current weather or forecast weather), the 
currency of the product (i.e., product issue and valid 
times), and the relevance of the product. Pilots and 

operators should be cautious when using unfamiliar 
weather products. 



When in doubt, consult with a FAA Flight Service Station 


With increased access to weather products via 

the public Internet, the aviation community has 
access to an over whelming amount of weather 
information and data that support self-briefing. FAA 
AC 00-45 (current edition) describes the weather 
products distributed by the NWS. Pilots and 
operators using the public Internet to access weather 
from a third party vendor should request and/or 
review an appropriate description of services and 
provider disclosure. This should include, but is not 
limited to, the type of weather product (for example, 
current weather or forecast weather), the currency of 
the product (i.e., product issue and valid times), and 
the relevance of the product. Pilots and operators 
should be cautious when using unfamiliar weather 
products and when in doubt, consult with a Flight 
Service Specialist. 


The development of new weather products, 

coupled with the termination of some legacy textual 
and graphical products may create confusion between 
regulatory requirements and the new products. All 

related, aviation weather decisions must be 

based on all available pertinent weather products. As 
every flight is unique and the weather conditions for 
that flight vary hour by hour, day to day, multiple 
weather products may be necessary to meet aviation 
weather regulatory requirements. Many new weather 
products now have a Precautionary Use Statement 
that details the proper use or application of the 
specific product. 


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. 

2.  Analysis

. Enhanced depiction and/or inter-

pretation of observed weather data. 

3.  Forecasts

. Predictions of the development 

and/or movement of weather phenomena based on 
meteorological observations and various mathemati-
cal models. 


Not all sources of aviation weather information 

are able to provide all three types of weather