More Data Is A Good Thing

In the past few years the state of North Dakota has added several automatic weather reporting sites to smaller airports.  Places like Valley City, Rugby, Cooperstown, Langdon, Walhalla, Oakes among others, now have what is referred to as an AWOS (Automatic Weather Observation Station) at their airport.

These sites were paid for by the state and are maintained by All Weather, Inc based in Sacramento, CA.  These sites not only give pilots much better local information, but these additional data also greatly benefit the Department of Transportation, the public and meteorologists. AWOS sites differ slightly from what the larger airports use.  For example the equipment at Hector Int’l is a more sophisticated and is operated by the National Weather Service (NWS), rather than the state.

The Fargo Airport Authority provides the land for the device, but has no control over it and is not responsible for maintaining it.  The NWS takes care of the maintenance which is also the case at most other larger airports in the country.