Airport Advisory Service from Flight Service

A recent discussion at the BeechTalk forum led me to dig into a now obscure service once offered at airports that had a Flight Service Station located on the field. Airport Advisory Service (described in AIM 3-5-1. Airport Advisory/Information Services) provides pilots with updates on the local weather and information about known traffic operating on and around an airport. The service isn’t air traffic control; it’s just information for pilots to take into account as they plan to depart or land at an airport that offers AAS.

Today, Lockheed-Martin has consolidated the FSS network in the lower 48 to just six facilities:

The AFSS team is located in six locations around the country: Prescott, Ariz.; Fort Worth, Texas; Miami; Raleigh, N.C.; Ashburn, Va.; and Princeton, Minn.

A search of the Airport/Facility Directory for the lower 48 states reveals that only 15 airports in the lower 48 currently have AAS, albeit the remote version, provided by one of the FSS hubs or ancillary facilities. The FSS network in Alaska provides AAS at more airports.

RAA service is operated within 10 statute miles of specified high activity GA airports where a control tower is not operating. Airports offering this service are listed in the A/FD and the published service hours may be changed by NOTAM D.

I haven’t been able to find a comprehensive list of those “specified high activity GA airports,” but here’s the list I compiled:

    • Altoona-Blair Co (KAOO)
    • Anderson Rgnl (KAND)
    • Aniston Rgnl (KANB)
    • Columbia Rgnl (KCOU)
    • Gainesville Rgnl (KGNV)
    • Greenwood-LeFlore (KGWO)
    • Huron Rgnl (KHON)
    • Jonesboro Muni (KJBR)
    • Kendall-Tamiami Executive (KTMB)
    • Lawson AAF (Fort Benning) (KLSF)
    • Louisville Bowman Fld (KLOU)
    • Millville Muni (KMIV)
    • Middle Georgia Rgnl (KMCN)
    • Prescott (KPRC)
    • St. Petersburg-Clearwater Intl (KPIE)

(FSS monitors the tower frequency, but AAS isn’t specifically mentioned for KSPG)

The FAA published a notice in the Federal Register in 2006, seeking comments about AAS and its value to pilots. You can read the docket for that notice here. But I can find no evidence that FAA took any general action regarding AAS. However, that 2006 notice lists 20 airports in the lower 48 with the service, so the number has declined in the intervening years.

If you’re interested in the history of FSS facilities, see this website. It no longer seems up-to-date, however.

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