Responding to pressure to make airspace and weather information available via the web, the US Federal Aviation Administration has established rules for qualifying internet communications providers.

The move will allow general aviation pilots to plan flights using information from qualified web sites, where previously only FAA-provided data was legally valid.

The agency will maintain a web page that will list all providers meeting the new standards outlined in an advisory circular published last week. The circular sets reliability, accessibility and security standards and requires providers to conduct a capability demonstration. The performance of qualified providers will be reviewed bi-annually, the FAA says.

Airspace and weather information has been available on the web for some time, but without the quality control required for legal use.

Following complaints that information on security-related temporary flight restrictions was not being communicated quickly and accurately enough to general aviation pilots, Congress has provided the FAA with funds to put notices to airmen on a web server.

Source: Flight International