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Published 29th August 2003, 5:1pm

George Town, Grand Cayman (August 29, 2003) - The Civil Aviation Authority of the Cayman Islands (CAACI) has purchased a new Automatic Weather Observing Station (AWOS) for the Meteorological Section in Grand Cayman to replace the existing station.

The new AWOS for Owen Roberts International (ORIA) is another step taken by the CAACI in maintaining compliance to the International Standards and Recommendations of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

The AWOS provides meteorological information critical for take-off and landing of aircraft at ORIA. The data mainly used for this purpose are wind direction and speed, air temperature and dew point as well as barometric pressure.

CAA Director, Mr. Richard Smith comments, “the replacement of the old AWOS technology by the CAA helps to ensure that we are continuing to provide the resources necessary for optimal safety of the aviation industry.”

Information from the AWOS, however, is not limited to Air Traffic Services. Additional information like rainfall rate and amounts, and UV Index will also be useful to the meteorological service, who will be the primary users, in its day to day operations as well as in its longer term climate information and prediction services.

Installation of the new station is scheduled to commence in late September and will be undertaken through a team project involving an Engineer from the USA vendor SUTRON, along with the Engineering & Telecommunications, Meteorological, and Air Traffic sections of the CAACI.

An excellent feature of this AWOS is that it will be solar powered and will not be subject to disruptions in service even if our national electrical grid is interrupted.

Mr. Fred Sambula, head of meteorological services at the CAACI remarks, “the weather service continues to upgrade its equipment in its continuing effort to provide the aviation community and the nation with a professional caliber of service to international and regional standards required. This equipment is 21st century technology and should serve the Cayman Islands well into the future.”