AOPA Says Thanks!
The old saying, "If it
ain't broke, don't fix it" certainly applies to DUAT weather
briefings. And the FAA seems to agree.
The agency has decided to continue using contractors to provide
DUAT (direct user access terminal) briefings. That's a decision
AOPA strongly supported because it will provide better services for
Two private-sector contractors currently operate the DUAT
system. FAA had planned to take back the service and integrate it
into the new OASIS system now being installed in flight service
stations. But the private contractors are today providing a higher
level of service than what was planned for the FAA-operated system,
according to AOPA.
"This is good news for pilots," said AOPA Vice President of
Regulatory Affairs Melissa Bailey, "because DUAT is such a valued
service, and integrating it into OASIS had the potential to stifle
innovation and drive up the cost for the government to provide the
According to the decision made by FAA's associate administrator
for Air Traffic, the investment is not prudent, considering the
success of DUAT, the low cost of providing it, and the impending
A76 study on the best way to provide flight services to pilots.
AOPA participated in a work group that discussed the pros and
cons of integration and argued against integrating the two systems,
in part because competition between private vendors leads to more
enhancements that benefit pilots.
"DUAT integration was one of the long-term goals of the original
OASIS contract signed some six years ago, but DUATS has advanced to
the point that an integrated service would offer pilots less than
what they've come to expect now," said Bailey.
"The bottom line is, DUAT works, and the vendors are constantly
striving to add user value to their products. Why fix something
that's not broken?"