June 5, 2014

New wind reporting procedures have been implemented at Colorado’s Aspen/Pitkin County Airport (ASE), as of May 15.

Due to the unique geographical location and associated weather fluctuations at ASE, new wind reporting methods have been established in order to better disseminate current wind conditions. A main component of these changes mandates the issuance of a new automated terminal information system (ATIS) and an updated aviation routine weather report/aviation special weather report (METAR/SPECI), if specific criteria is met after the regular hourly METAR has been issued.

These changes should mitigate future instances of discrepancies between METAR reported weather and real-time wind information.

The main change mandates the issuance of a new ATIS and an updated METAR/SPECI should the following criteria be met:

  • When the wind is above a 10-knot sustained tailwind or gusting above a 15-knot tailwind between:
    • Headings 280°– 020° for Runway 15
    • Headings 100°– 200° for Runway 33
  • One of the following statements shall be put on the ATIS:
    • Use Caution, [affected runway] Strong tailwind conditions exist
    • Use Caution, Rapidly changing tailwind conditions exist

Additionally, should the above criteria be met after the hourly METAR has posted, ASE personnel will ensure that wind information is augmented to reflect current conditions and a SPECI will be generated.

By disseminating verbally via the ATIS, as well as “digitally” by manually generating a SPECI, users will now have access to updated wind information via the FMS.