Pemberton Airport has a newly installed Automated Weather Observation System (AWOS III), which is now providing accurate real-time data to pilots and flight dispatchers.
The technology — a suite of weather sensors which monitor weather forecasts, plan flight routes, visibility and wind speed — can be accessed by aircraft radios from as far as 48km from the airport.
The Village of Pemberton said in a release that the AWOS III would contribute "to the safe and economic operations of Pemberton Airport." It has been a priority for the community for the last five years.
The project was possible thanks to funding from the B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, the Village of Pemberton (VOP), Blackcomb Aviation, Whistler Blackcomb and Tourism Whistler. In terms of covering the $120,000 cost of the system, the ministry, the VOP, and Blackcomb Aviation contributed $30,000 each, while Whistler Blackcomb and Tourism Whistler contributed $15,000 each.
"Pemberton and Whistler have been working in partnership for a number of years in reviewing the viability of commercial air access into Pemberton," said Barrett Fisher, Tourism Whistler's president and CEO in the release. "This addition of the automated weather observation system is an important piece in this process."
"With the provision of this data, our hopes are to see an increase in air traffic, which will equate to an increase of visitors to the corridor. The potential economic benefits and opportunities are vast," said Mayor Jordan Sturdy.
Information from the AWOS system is available to pilots via radio and can also be accessed by the public online at http://goo.gl/UHshJ. There are also iPhone, iPad and Android Apps available that will display AWOS data.