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Duncan Municipal Airport getting new automated weather observation system

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DUNCAN, OK (KSWO)- The Duncan Municipal Airport is getting some upgrades that will help pilots see while in the air and with their per-flight planning.  It's an Automated Weather Observation Station, also known as AWOS.  

It's a real-time weather observation system. It's designed to detect, report, and disseminate weather conditions at airports. The airport's current system is outdated, and many of its data sensors don't even work. The company plans to take that system out entirely after this year. 

Pilots have been analyzing the weather conditions at nearby airports, like Lawton and Chickasha to get a general sense of what to expect in Duncan.
Fortunately, the sensor that detects wind speed and direction in Duncan do work, Visibility, however, does not.   

Alex Henry, "The pilots are getting insufficient and not all the data that they would like for landings and take-offs."

Henry said the new weather observation system will monitor about half a dozen sensors for pilots. The sensors will generate real time weather reports and provide up-to-date information for pilots.

"There is a wind speed sensor, there is a direction sensor, there is a lighting sensor, barometric pressure, visibility, cloud height", said Henry.

Henry said the hardware needed to connect to this new weather system is already installed inside of all aircraft pilots use. 

 "It gives them the data from wherever they may be and planning their flight in I want to be there before this time, the existing conditions are not conducive to landing, they may need to re-route somewhere else", said Henry. "It gives real time data of exactly what is going on at the airport at that moment."

The airport is also getting a new Omni Directional Approach light system. They will be installed along the north end of the airport runway. Henry said these lights can improve what pilots see.

 "They are a series of flashing lights from the center line of the runway and it helps pilots identify the center of the runway so they can get lined up to make their landing", said Henry.

Henry said they're not sure when installation of the new system will start, but once they do, it will take 20-to-30 days to complete. The system will last for several years and will be maintained by FAA technicians.

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