Your tax dollars pay for a significant amount of aviation infrastructure; not just airports and
controllers, but also weather services, charting services, educational services, and yes, even the
airman certification branch of the FAA. Historically, you had to pay the government printing office
for paper copies of everything from regulations to charts (maps), but with the advent of the
internet, much of this material is now available free of charge for you to use. Note that the FAA
is currently in the midst of a study to determine how they can recover the cost of their charting
responsibilities, so charts and related real-time items might not be free for long.
Regulations: In addition to the general Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) database used in
most of the links on this site, the FAA has a regulation site with A/Ds and advisory circulars.
Educational Materials: The FAA publishes a variety of aviation handbooks and manuals.
Charts: FAA charts and other airport and airspace publications are available for download.
Weather Services: NOAA manages and hosts the Aviation Weather Center.
Flight Planning: In addition to a plethora of private flight-planning service providers, the FAA
sponsors Direct User Access Terminal Service (DUATS), a weather information and flight
planning service. Two providers, CSC and DTC, provide this service under contract. The services
can be accessed at www.duats.com and www.duat.com respectively, as well as in app form.
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Did you know?...
Sufficient staffing at flight service
stations has been a problem at least
since the 1980s. In March of 1984 the
FAA awarded a contract for a
computerized voice response system to
provide preflight weather briefings. On
February 13th, 1990, DUATS, the Direct
User Access Terminal Service, began
operating. This allowed pilots to get
briefings on their computers, although
access required the user to dial into
duats--web access didn't exist until the