Saturday, January 2, 2016

New system provides better data for pilots: Pratt Regional Airport (KPTT), Pratt County, Kansas

Electrician Jerry Miller works on getting everything connected at the new Automated Weather Observing System at the Pratt Regional Airport. The old system had worn out and had become unreliable.

Pratt, Kan.---  Pilots using the Pratt Regional Airport have access to better weather information heading into 2016.

The new Automated Weather Observing System actually came on-line in December 2015. It replaced system that had reached the end of its lifetime, said Reid Bell, airport manager.

The old system had become unreliable and was not providing all the necessary information. The AWOS provides vital weather information for pilots on a continuous basis. Pilots can check frequency 118.725 to access the information. The AWOS information is also available at 672-2793.

The AWOS records the date, time, wind direction, wind speed, visibility in miles, air temperature, dew point, relative humidity, altimeter and precipitation. It also records the high and low temperature for a six-hour period, Bell said.

The Transportation Security Administration paid a visit to the airport to check up on security issues. Although the TSA has no jurisdiction, they like to visit all the small aviation airports to see what security measures are in place. General aviation is expected to police themselves.

After their visit, they meet with the airport officials and make any recommendations. The airport got a good report and TSA did not make a return visit.

One thing TSA likes to see is airport watch posters that encourage users and operators to be vigilant and to report anything suspicious. The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association distributes the posters.

The airport is working on a couple of projects for 2016 involving a possible new tenant and a land lease.

The airport is working with JGL, a company that develops microbes for bio fuels, on a possible rental location at the airport in the T-6 building.

“We’re trying to work out an agreement with them,” Bell said.

The airport is also has some farm ground to lease that has come available. The land is on along the south side of the airport and contains 647 acres including 175 acres that is irrigated.

They plan to start advertising in January.


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