Pilots can access nationwide weather data

Pilots can access nationwide weather data

The Federal Aviation Administration has approved an onboard aircraft application to give pilots up-to-date weather information in the cockpit.

Aircraft must be equipped with radio receivers and multifunction displays. Via the VHF Data Link Mode 2 avionics app, pilots can receive text messages'including routine and special weather reports and terminal area forecasts'issued by FAA and the National Weather Service.

Through a subscription service, pilots also will be able to receive maps of weather conditions.

"This is the first concerted effort to provide nationwide in-flight weather data," said Gregory Burke, director of air traffic systems development. "Now, pilots'general aviation, business and commercial'will gain a vital safety edge with the enhanced availability of weather information while flying."

The app runs under the Flight Information Services Data Link service, which channels data from many weather sources into one system.

FAA is providing the service under an agreement with two vendors: Arnav Systems Inc. of Puyallup, Wash., and Honeywell Corp. of Olathe, Kan.

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