Flying - - TAKING WING -

Good news: The FAA is in­tro­duc­ing a host of new weather prod­ucts to the sub­scrip­tion-free ADS-B broad­cast feed to pro­vide pi­lots with even more in­for­ma­tion they can use to make bet­ter en route de­ci­sions.

Start­ing this month, the FAA will be­gin broad­cast­ing light­ning strikes, tur­bu­lence, ic­ing fore­casts, mod­eled cloud tops, graph­i­cal airmets and cen­ter weather ad­vi­sories over the FIS-B link. The added weather in­for­ma­tion will com­ple­ment the orig­i­nal 13 “base line” weather prod­ucts in the FIS-B feed that in­clude Nexrad radar im­agery, winds aloft, ter­mi­nal fore­casts and more.

The FAA says tur­bu­lence re­ports will be up­dated every 15 min­utes, while the “mod­eled” cloud top data (sorry, no ac­tual cloud top re­ports will be in­cluded) will be dis­sem­i­nated in 1,500foot in­ter­vals from 1,500 feet msl to 15,000 feet and in 3,000-foot in­ter­vals to 24,000 feet. Light­ning-strike data will be up­dated every five min­utes and broad­cast over the FIS-B link every five min­utes. Ic­ing data, mean­while, in­cludes real-time pre­dictabil­ity for where at­mo­spheric con­di­tions may be con­ducive to ic­ing, and in­cludes a fore­cast for po­ten­tially af­fected ar­eas over the next 12 hours. The ic­ing data is up­dated every 15 min­utes.

While the new ADS-B in­for­ma­tion goes live in June, pi­lots will only gain ac­cess to the ad­di­tional weather prod­ucts af­ter their ADS-B avion­ics soft­ware or tablet apps have been up­dated to re­ceive the feed in­for­ma­tion.

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