NBAA Details Upcoming Changes to FSS

Industry was consulted prior to the decisions.

Cirrus SR22 taking off
Upcoming FSS changes will affect aircraft of all sizes.Courtesy NBAA

The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) last week highlighted a number of changes coming soon to the FSS system managed for the FAA by Lockheed Martin Flight Services. Later this month, the FAA will complete its Clearance Relay initiative to streamline clearance delivery procedures at non-controlled airports.

A clearance delivery telephone number, direct to the appropriate approach control facility or air route traffic control center, will now be published for all public and private-use airports listed in the chart supplement, formerly known as the Airport/Facility Directory. These numbers will ultimately replace the current Leidos Flight Service clearances number. The FAA launched the Clearance Relay project in 2018, initially publishing phone numbers for 30 approach control facilities covering 667 public-use airports. That effort quickly expanded to include all public and private-use airports with a chart supplement entry.

The agency also announced the discontinuation of the Hazardous Inflight Weather Advisory Service (HIWAS) in the contiguous U.S. later this year saying this automated recording system has been supplanted in recent years by more advanced technologies.

Heidi Williams, NBAA director for air traffic services and infrastructure said, “The FAA solicited comments from the industry, including general aviation and business aviation pilots and found that very few still utilized HIWAS given the increased availability of inflight radar and data link weather information to the flight deck. Standing the system down allows those resources to be applied in other necessary directions.”

The updated chart supplement will be published June 20, while HIWAS will be discontinued with publication of a final policy notice in the Federal Register expected by September 30.