Local Airport Advisory
Local Airport Advisory
A Local Airport Advisory, or LAA, is a service offered by facilities located at the landing airport. They have ground-to-air communication on a discrete frequency or the tower frequency when the tower is closed. Local airport advisories are more often used at smaller or general aviation airports because they are the airports that tend to have part-time towers. They consist of an automated weather reporting advisory with voice broadcasting and a continuous automated service observation system/automated weather observation system (ASOS/AWOS) data display, other continuous direct reading instruments, or manual observations available to the specialist.
Typical conditions under which an LAA is issued at an airport:
- onset of freezing rain,
- snowfall which will affect plowing operations (usually rates of 2 inches or more per hour),
- strong surface wind not associated with convection (usually 35 knots or stronger),
- hail (usually an inch or larger),
- significant wind shifts,
- thunderstorms expected to produce significant wind (usually 35 knots or more).
They inform the pilot of anything that might be important to know before the pilot lands at the airport. Since the tower is closed for the night, the pilot would have no access to information about the airport except for what was published in the airport facility directory, NOTAMs, or the sectional. Since most smaller airports have closed facilities at night, the only other way a pilot would have access to airport information other than a local airport advisory or federal publications would be the airport control frequency or their unicom, but there is no guarantee that anyone will be listening. This is why local airport advisories are more popular.
Local airport advisories are located in the airport advisory area. This is an area located ten miles around the airport in question in which a flight service station is available when the airport control tower is closed. Flight service stations and all national weather services are required to have all information available pertaining to any particular airport in their area in case the pilot requests a local airport advisory. This may seem kind of unfair to the people giving the advisories, but the Federal Aviation Administration requires all pilots to be familiar with any and all information pertaining to the flight before taking off.