Sun, May 26

Cottonwood Airport to get automated weather service

Example of an Automated Weather Observation System.

Example of an Automated Weather Observation System.

Cottonwood is on the verge of getting a local weather facility based at the Cottonwood Airport.

The City Council has authorized Mayor Diane Joens to execute a grant for an Automated Weather Observation System (AWOS).

The system, which is overseen by the FAA rather than the weather service, is intended to give accurate wind and weather information for pilots using the air strip.

The local weather information will be broadcast to pilots using the Cottonwood Airport Unicom frequency. While intended for aircraft, local residents should also be able to access the observations. An AWOS system is already in place at the Sedona Airport.

Assistant Development Services Manager and Airport Manager Morgan Scott said the service will provide safer operations for aircraft, especially during inclement weather.

The council packet advises that some corporations will not allow their aircraft to land at an airport that does not provide an AWOS. The installation will make the airport more appealing to businesses that are considering relocating or starting up.

The FAA has budgeted $175,836 in this fiscal year to construct an AWOS at the Cottonwood Airport.

The FAA funds 91.1 percent of this project and the city will be responsible for the remaining 8.9 percent or approximately $17,264.00.

Scott said it should be an important year for the airport, with the installation of the AWOS, a runway overlay and a GPS instrument approach system, another automated and grant-funded pilot tool.