Weather And Traffic Information Broadcasting System. (WATIBS)
The principal function of this system is to give pilots entering the aerodrome zone basic information and enhance their awareness of traffic already in the zone. It provides much of what an ATIS provides plus it provides a measure of traffic information for airports with no full time Air Traffic Services personnel. This system has been developed in NZ after long experience in aeronautical software and practical experience in New Zealand Flight Service stations. The system is fully automatic.
It utilises the Vaisala WXT520 Weather Transmitter to report wind, temperature, pressure and humidity readings in real time, which can be supplemented with additional instruments as desired.
In operation, WATIBS monitors a designated frequency for call signs form aircraft entering the MBZ. WATIBS then transmits the weather and traffic information on that frequency. The pilot switches to the aerodrome frequency. WATIBS then retransmits the just received report from the arriving aircraft for the benefit of aircraft already monitoring on this frequency. Received aircraft broadcasts are time stamped and logged to a database and can be recalled and played back offline as required. The database has additional fields for call sign and air movement type which are completed off line to serve as input for a billing process.
The displays are similar to the ATIS, but include up to three ground activity sensors, with preset audio phrases, as well as the ability to monitor and record radio calls from arriving and departing aircraft.
The example sequence below shows the WATIBS process as viewed from the pilot's perspective.
In the sequence above the Cessna pilot has received
|Basic Meteorological Data|
|Basic Aerodrome Information|
|An indication of traffic ahead of them|
|Confirmation that their intentions have been broadcast on the MBZ channel|
|Confirmation that their radio is working normally and is tuned to the correct MBZ frequency|
|Pilots already in the aerodrome zone have been made aware of the newcomer|
|The system has recorded the newcomer's intentions and this will be added to future broadcasts.|
|There has been minimal occupation of the MBZ channel.|
As with the Annex 11 ATIS, ground personnel can record additional operational information to be included in all broadcasts via microphone, or text to speech. The WATIBS can also generate and dispatch METAR AFTN messages via a dedicated AFTN connection or email.