Aviation Weather Observations Certification Examinations

Certification is the means employed by the National Weather Service to officially sanction the surface aviation weather observations used in the support of aviation operations. All individuals who take officially sanctioned surface observations must possess a valid Certificate of Authority. To become certified, an individual must meet certain qualifications. He/She must meet vision standards, demonstrate practical ability, and attain a passing score on a written certification examination.

Prior to the request of a written examination, the station supervisor (of the facility where observations are to be taken) or an instructor (someone employed to teach aviation weather observations) attests by the act of requesting the examination that the other certification requirements (eyesight and practical ability) have been met. Unless these requirements are met, a written examination shall not be administered.

The only part of the eyesight test that is currently required is the Snellen test. Distant vision of not less than 20/30 in the better eye, corrected if necessary, is satisfactory. Recent medical proof will also be accepted. The proctor may give this test prior to the examination.

The examinee is required to demonstrate his/her ability to take and record an accurate and timely observation prior to taking the written examination. A "Certificate Qualification Statement" from the employer is sufficient for this purpose. The Cooperator's Weather Supervisor or his/her designate may verify the applicant's ability to take a weather observation, provided he/she holds a valid weather certificate. The Cooperator's Weather Supervisor or his/her designate may complete the "Certificate Qualification Statement," located at the bottom of the NWS Answer Sheet, just prior to the examination, or may request a "National Weather Service Certificate Statement" which is to be completed and returned to the proctor (NWS employee) prior to the observer candidate taking the examination. In either case, the individual also needs to include his/her certificate number in the space provided. Failure to provide the required signature on the "Certificate Qualification Statement," either on the NWS examination answer sheet or the "NWS Certificate Qualification Statement," will delay or may suspend the certification process. Demonstrated proficiency may be made to the proctor, if the proctor is certified.

If the written examination is failed, an alternate examination may be administered, only after two weeks from the date of the failed examination. Anyone failing two or more examinations will not be issued another examination until he/she receives additional training. The minimum time between examinations is two weeks, and additional time may be imposed if the results on the previous examinations clearly indicate that the trainee would most likely not pass another examination in two weeks.


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