WHITE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) – Real-time weather updates are now available from the White County Airport. It’s a new tool that officials hope will bring more planes to the area.
“When aircrafts start to think about coming to Monticello the first thing they think about is the airport facility, what type of amenities it has, fuel, and they want to see if it has on-site weather and if it doesn’t they immediately discard that airport,” airport assistant manager Brian Townsend said.
In February the airport got its own Automated Weather Observation System, or AWOS. AWOS sends real-time weather information to pilots.
“They have a frequency they can listen to and also with some of the technology in the cockpits they can actually click on an icon and it will show them a write out of what the weather actually is,” Townsend said.
The system cost about $200,000 and was fully functional in February. Airport assistant manager Brian Townsend said it brings with it more opportunities for area businesses.
“That’s one of the biggest reasons, probably the biggest reason, why we went ahead with this project. Monticello has a lot of business and commerce going on and we felt that one way to put it more on the map to bring in people from out of town that associate with those businesses,” Townsend said.
With the new Magnetation plant under construction in Reynolds Townsend said a lot of people visiting the plant use the airport. Before the system flights would sometimes have to land in Logansport or Lafayette if there was a chance for bad weather.
“They actually send some folks down here out of Minnesota sometimes as much as twice a week, but definitely once a month. That’s been happening for the last 18 months. We have several factories in town also that I think this AWOS will attract some of their corporate personnel to come visit,” he said.
Townsend said it’s a win for the airport and for the county.