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Worries averted in replacement of airport equipment

When a piece of critical weather-sensing equipment failed last week at the Lake County Airport, worries grew fast and furious about local emergency airlift services being able to safely function.

Fortunately, thanks to swift action by Lake County officials and the office of Sen. Ron Wyden, the needed repairs will be made by the middle of this week, said the airport’s manager, Bert Young.

“Through that (effort), the FAA is going to let the part be purchased,” Young said.

The county’s property and lands manager, Bob Pardee, said that a component in the automated weather observation system (AWOS) failed last week.

The broken component provided data on cloud height and ceiling, which are crucial details for pilots that need to land under visual or instrument flight restrictions.

Pardee noted that pilots need a clear view of their landing zone, which is not possible when attempting landings at night or during times of cloud cover.

The equipment, in question, is owned by the Federal Aviation Administration, Pardee said, and as such the agency must authorize its repair. The estimated cost for replacement was about $8,000.

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