In the on-again off-again saga of, is it certified or is it not, the FAA has apparently, de-certified Potomac Aviation Technology Corporation’s (PATC) AWOS A and A/V. Although a request to the FAA for verification and comment wasn’t received prior to our publishing deadline, it appears the FAA released a letter to PATC in late January notifying the company of the action.
The letter, addressed to David Wartofsky of Potomac, said that it had completed its evaluation of a letter from PATC dated October 6, 2011 and had determined that the company had not resolved a number of issues addressed by the FAA in an earlier letter to PATC, dated August 18th of 2011.
In written material obtained from Potomac, it says that SuperAWOS was approved and certified by FAA HQ multiple times, as an ‘Automated Unicom’ providing approved altimeter and visibility, an Aviation Weather Reporting System, and then two more times, which actually defined a new type of AWOS, ‘AWOS A/V model 1000’ and then again as ‘AWOS A/V model 2000.
That information went on to say that SuperAWOS’ multiple approvals and certifications specifically included simpler procedures, allowing smaller airports considerable savings on operating costs. Only by significantly reduced operating costs for smaller airports, having smaller budgets, are they then able to afford to enhance flight safety at their facilities by providing weather flight requirements, and opening their facilities to emergency and commercial operators.
Potomac says that SuperAWOS is a practical, real-world, low-maintenance solution for smaller airports, which enhances both the political and economic value of smaller community airports and heliports, by allowing them to cost-effectively support essential emergency and commercial services.
The latest FAA letter concluded by saying before Potomac can be returned to the Approved Vendors and Systems list, PATC’s system, documentation, testing, procedures and training materials must be resubmitted and be in full compliance with the revision of the non-Federal AWOS advisory circular, 150/5220-16, current at the time of submittal.