August 8, 2018

The FAA is proposing to discontinue the Hazardous Inflight Weather Advisory Service (HIWAS) as part of an agency streamlining effort.

HIWAS is a voice broadcast that has existed since the early 1980s, providing hazardous weather advisories over VOR radio navigation systems.

In a July 23 Federal Register notice, the FAA said it was looking at ending HIWAS because better sources of weather information are now available to pilots. These newer, Internet-based sources often use graphical formats that make it easier to visualize what is happening along a flight route.

However, Internet-based graphics are often not available in the cockpit because many aircraft do not have Wi-Fi in the air. HIWAS, by contrast, is listened to over frequency and does not need the Internet.

“The FAA convened a safety panel to review the impacts of removing HIWAS, but it became clear that a decision could not be reached on mitigating the safety concerns without hearing from the operating community first,” said Heidi Williams, NBAA’s director for air traffic services and infrastructure. “The FAA will need to take the input received and reconvene the safety panel to ensure there are no hazards to removing the service long term.”

NBAA would like to hear from pilots if they have any concerns about the FAA’s proposal. Please send comments to Williams at

The FAA is seeking public input on its proposal. Comments may be submitted online, mailed, hand-delivered or faxed by Aug. 22. Learn more and submit a comment to the FAA.