|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||0601 To 1200|
|Locale Reference||atc facility : cid|
|Altitude||agl bound lower : 0|
agl bound upper : 0
|Affiliation||government : faa|
|Function||other personnel other|
|Qualification||controller : radar|
|Experience||controller military : 8|
controller radar : 8
|Anomaly||other anomaly other|
|Independent Detector||other controllera|
|Resolutory Action||none taken : anomaly accepted|
|Air Traffic Incident||other|
On oct/xa/95 the air traffic controllers at the cedar rapids ATCT began taking WX observations as mandated by the central region, FAA. These WX observations are limited aviation WX reporting services (lawrs). The training that the controllers received to take these WX observations was an 8 hour class that was to prepare them to pass the NWS lawrs certification examination, with no hands on training. From oct/xa/95 to oct/xd/95 the WX conditions at cid were VMC with little difficulty in observing the WX. On oct/xd/95 and oct/xe/95 the WX deteriorated requiring constant monitoring and updating. The controllers have not been trained to accurately report these conditions. Another problem with these observations is the fact that the point of observation is the 7TH floor of the ATCT, it is going to be impossible to determine if the precipitation that is occurring is freezing etc. I feel that this condition, created by the FAA to save money (not paying for 24 hour contract WX observer, they contract when tower is closed) is extremely unsafe and is an 'accident waiting to happen.' cid ATCT has only 15 fpl controllers and is a level 3 up/down. The tremendous burden on the controllers is going to put them in a situation one day that will make them have to choose between aircraft handling and taking the WX observation. From the beginning, when the FAA announced this plan to place this responsibility on the controllers, I have voiced my opinion as to the safety compromise that would take place. The response that I was given was it was out of their control due to budget constraints. I believe that by the FAA reverting back to 24 hour contract WX observers, an accident can be averted and lives saved.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: CTLR WX OBSERVERS.
Narrative: ON OCT/XA/95 THE AIR TFC CTLRS AT THE CEDAR RAPIDS ATCT BEGAN TAKING WX OBSERVATIONS AS MANDATED BY THE CENTRAL REGION, FAA. THESE WX OBSERVATIONS ARE LIMITED AVIATION WX RPTING SERVICES (LAWRS). THE TRAINING THAT THE CTLRS RECEIVED TO TAKE THESE WX OBSERVATIONS WAS AN 8 HR CLASS THAT WAS TO PREPARE THEM TO PASS THE NWS LAWRS CERTIFICATION EXAM, WITH NO HANDS ON TRAINING. FROM OCT/XA/95 TO OCT/XD/95 THE WX CONDITIONS AT CID WERE VMC WITH LITTLE DIFFICULTY IN OBSERVING THE WX. ON OCT/XD/95 AND OCT/XE/95 THE WX DETERIORATED REQUIRING CONSTANT MONITORING AND UPDATING. THE CTLRS HAVE NOT BEEN TRAINED TO ACCURATELY RPT THESE CONDITIONS. ANOTHER PROB WITH THESE OBSERVATIONS IS THE FACT THAT THE POINT OF OBSERVATION IS THE 7TH FLOOR OF THE ATCT, IT IS GOING TO BE IMPOSSIBLE TO DETERMINE IF THE PRECIPITATION THAT IS OCCURRING IS FREEZING ETC. I FEEL THAT THIS CONDITION, CREATED BY THE FAA TO SAVE MONEY (NOT PAYING FOR 24 HR CONTRACT WX OBSERVER, THEY CONTRACT WHEN TWR IS CLOSED) IS EXTREMELY UNSAFE AND IS AN 'ACCIDENT WAITING TO HAPPEN.' CID ATCT HAS ONLY 15 FPL CTLRS AND IS A LEVEL 3 UP/DOWN. THE TREMENDOUS BURDEN ON THE CTLRS IS GOING TO PUT THEM IN A SIT ONE DAY THAT WILL MAKE THEM HAVE TO CHOOSE BTWN ACFT HANDLING AND TAKING THE WX OBSERVATION. FROM THE BEGINNING, WHEN THE FAA ANNOUNCED THIS PLAN TO PLACE THIS RESPONSIBILITY ON THE CTLRS, I HAVE VOICED MY OPINION AS TO THE SAFETY COMPROMISE THAT WOULD TAKE PLACE. THE RESPONSE THAT I WAS GIVEN WAS IT WAS OUT OF THEIR CTL DUE TO BUDGET CONSTRAINTS. I BELIEVE THAT BY THE FAA REVERTING BACK TO 24 HR CONTRACT WX OBSERVERS, AN ACCIDENT CAN BE AVERTED AND LIVES SAVED.
Data retrieved from NASA's ASRS site as of July 2007 and automatically converted to unabbreviated mixed upper/lowercase text. This report is for informational purposes with no guarantee of accuracy. See NASA's ASRS site for official report.