By Kristin Bednarski
On March 7, Sporty’s Pilot Shop and Clermont County Airport activated new weather technology that marks a milestone for the airport and will benefit pilots.
Hal Shevers, founder and chairman of Sporty’s Pilot Shop, said the Automated Weather Observing System digitally reports weather information, which can be accessed by pilots in their planes and online.
“It just makes the airport more useful,” Shevers said. “Now we will have weather right on the spot.”
The AWOS system reports wind speed, wind direction, visibility, temperature, cloud cover, rainfall, and more.
“It updates every minute or more,” Shevers said. “And if there is a significant change it will put out a new report.”
The system was built on the airport property, near the runway beside Sporty’s Pilot Shop.
Shevers said the system includes a 30-foot tower with sensor equipment that was imbedded in six yards of concrete to make it sturdy.
“The sensors are all out there, and then they run by communication lines back to the control tower,” Shevers said.
He said equipment in the control tower sends the information back to the National Weather Bureau and it is also updated at the airport and online.
Shevers said with the help of Eastern Cincinnati Aviation and customers at the airport, the system, which normally costs around $140,000, cost less than $50,000.
Shevers said prior to the equipment being installed, the airport received weather information from Lunken Airport. He said having the most accurate weather information at the airport will be much more beneficial.
“Pilots need to know what the wind component is to know what the cross-wind component is,” Shevers said. “It is very important. They also want to know whether the weather is suitable to land, or should they go to some other airport.”
He said the system enables pilots to get the information in the air while they are flying as well as on the ground before they even drive to the airport.
“Everyone can have that at home and see exactly what the winds are, the temperature,” Shevers said.
Pilots can access the information in the air on frequency 127.275, online at www.anyawos.com/ki69 or by calling the airport at (513) 732-6978.