Lone Star Airport Director Scott Smith (far left) escorts aviation class during CWSU visit (Photo: Leslie Petersen, CWSU Houston)
(Dec. 5, 2011) - The Houston, Texas Center Weather Service Unit (CWSU) hosted an aviation class from the Lone Star College North Harris County Campus. Led by Scott Smith, director of Conroe's Lone Star Executive Airport, the class is part of the college's aviation management associate degree program.
Aviation Decision Support Meteorologist Leslie Petersen, met with the class to explain the role the center plays in support of the FAA's Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC).
"Our main responsibility is to provide up to the minute weather information to FAA supervisors and the Traffic Management Unit," said Petersen. "We issue two primary products. The Center Weather Advisory is an aviation weather warning for thunderstorms, severe icing or turbulence and low ceilings and visibility. We also provide daily 12 hour Meteorological Impact Statements on weather conditions which are expected to impact ARTCC operations."
The Houston CWSU is located at the ARTCC near Houston's George Bush Intercontinental Airport. It provides aviation weather decision support to the FAA's facilities across the south central United States.
One of 21 centers in the contiguous United States, the Houston CWSU serves an area of nearly 277,000 square nautical miles -- extending from the Texas Big Bend area eastward to the Alabama/Florida state line including a large portion of the Gulf of Mexico.
Within the Houston Center's area of responsibility, there are 22 FAA control towers, 16 approach control facilities, 87 major airports and 15 military fields. The center handles approximately 2.5 million aircraft operations a year or an average of 7,000 per day.