Aviation Safety Letter 4-2003
Pilot's Automatic Telephone Weather Answering Service (PATWAS)
NAV CANADA has updated its popular PATWAS to a digital version. Accessible through one simple phone call, PATWAS is a convenient automated communications system that provides pilots with up-to-date weather information. The digital PATWAS comes with added features such as bilingual service, voice recognition capabilities (enabling pilots to spell phonetically the airport for which they would like weather information), local sunrise/sunset hours and a fax-back function.
The digital PATWAS is being progressively rolled out across the country, replacing the analog models and will be accessible via the nine Flight Information Centres (FICs) across Canada in Halifax, Quebec, London, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Kamloops, Whitehorse, Yellowknife and North Bay. Once PATWAS is installed at a FIC, pilots will only need to dial 1 866 WXBRIEF for services in English, or 1-866-GOMETEO for services in French, and press #3 on the menu system to access PATWAS.
Currently, London, Québec and Kamloops FICs have digital PATWAS. The system will be installed in Edmonton, Winnipeg and Halifax FICs in 2004 and the North Bay, Yellowknife and Whitehorse FICs in 2005. The system also offers a greater selection of aviation weather information for areas surrounding 350 Canadian airports and approximately 900 American airports. Pilots are able to select pre-defined route information, local information for a group of airports in a specific area or site observations and forecasts at multiple airports.
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