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Runway Weather Information Systems

Runway Weather Information Systems
An overview of the weather phenomena that cause challenges at airports, Applicable regulatory guidelines (FAA, SAE etc.)

​​​Weather affects many different aspects of airport operations. Accurate real-time weather monitoring is one of the most cost-effective ways to ensure safe continuous airport operations. To provide airport staff with critical information to make informed decisions about treating, clearing, and maintaining runways we have designed The Vaisala Runway Weather Information System (RWIS).

Topics covered in this Runway Weather Information Systems webinar include:

  • An overview of the weather phenomena that cause challenges at airports
  • Applicable regulatory guidelines (FAA, SAE etc.)
  • Solutions offered by Vaisala

The webinar speaker is Vaisala Product Manager, Mr. Steve Howe.

Questions & Answers

Q: Can we include other sensors, like rain gauge, etc.?
A:The RWIS can accommodate a variety of sensors.

Q: Can you explain the wind sensor principle?
A: For more information, you can watch additional webinars on wind sensor technology available on ​

Q: Can RWIS be integrated into an aircraft so that the pilot can access it? 
A: RWIS information is generally used by airport personnel for operations activities. Vaisala's Hosted option, Navigator, is available to users via the web but would usually not be used by pilots.

Q: Can a passive sensor provide the % concentration of the sort of chemicals used in airports? 
A: Yes, the RPU can be programmed for the chemicals that are commonly used to treat runways. There is a list of chemicals that can be configured on Slide 23 of the webinar presentation.

Q: How quickly can the "chemical configuration" be changed, or do you have to change sensors? 
A: The chemical configuration is programmed in the RPU, so the sensor doesn't need to be changed. A Vaisala technician can fairly easily change the configuration while onsite, for instance for the annual preventive maintenance visit.

Q: Can a sensor be configured for more than 1 chemical type? 
A: No, each sensor is configured for one chemical. However, an airport would typically have multiple sensors in each runway which could each be configured for different chemicals.

Q: Does Vaisala/RWIS offer an MDSS option? 
A: Vaisala has multiple display options that offer MDSS features. You can contact your local sales manager for additional information.

Q: Can a radar layer be enabled in Navigator? 
A: This feature is currently available for any UK, North America and European customers and may be available in other areas, please check with your local Sales Manager.​​​​


Speaker Steve Howe
Airports Services Product Manager at Vaisala

Over 20 years of experience working with Vaisala systems and products.
Focus on Road and Runway Information Systems and Vaisala hosted systems.
Current role is Product Manager of Airports Services which includes the development and support of AviCast and CheckTime and providing support and customer feedback/improvements for Runway Weather Information Systems (RWIS) for Airports.

Current SAE involvement (SAE Member):
SAE G12 De-icing committee
SAE G12 Future Deicing Technology committee
SAE G15 Airport Snow and Ice Control committee

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