DUATS, or Direct User Access Terminal Service is a weather information and flight plan processing service contracted by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for use by United States civil pilots and other authorized users. The DUAT Service is a telephone- and Internet-based system which allows the pilot to use a personal computer for access to a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) database to obtain weather and aeronautical information and to file, amend, and cancel domestic IFR and VFR flight plans. The DUAT Service provides direct access to weather information via a National Airspace System (NAS) Data Interchange Network II (NADIN-II) interface to the Weather Message Switching Center Replacement (WMSCR) System and the Air traffic control (ATC) Facilities for filing flight plans. The pilot users can interface the DUAT Services via the FTS-2001 toll free telephone numbers or via an Internet Interface into the Contractor's Facility.
The current DUATS service contractors are Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) and Data Transformation Corporation (DTC). The service may be accessed by direct dial (using a terminal emulator like HyperTerminal), and the Internet via Telnet or HTTP.
|CSC DUATS||DTC DUAT|
|Dial Data Service||1-800-767-9989||1-800-245-3828[note 1]|
Each provider has been tested by the FAA to ensure that their major functions meet the FAA's requirements. However, each DUAT service has slightly different features and presents the information in different ways.
Some commonly used services that DUATS provides are flight planning, flight plan filing and closing, and retrieving aviation weather, both alphanumeric and graphic; and NOTAM information, although the full list is much longer. DUATS is available free of charge to all registered U.S. pilots and student pilots who hold a current medical certificate, as well as flight instructors, ground instructors, glider and balloon pilots, and other members of the aviation community.
- 1 DUATS Functions
- 2 References
DUATS can display Temporary Flight Restrictions in both textual and graphical format. Also, DUATS can display flow control messages and national FDC NOTAMs.
DUATS can provide a complete standard, outlook, or abbreviated weather briefings. These briefings are the same quality as, and can substitute for, those received from a Flight Service Station. Standard briefings are used when a flight is expected to take place within 8 hours, and include all weather and NOTAM information applicable for that flight. Outlook briefings are applicable when a flight is planned for more than 8 hours in the future, and includes expected weather conditions at that time. Abbreviated briefings can be requested when a standard briefing has already been received and a pilot only needs to know if there have been any changes or updates.
One of DUATS most-used features is its flight planning system. Designed for ease of use, the flight planner requires only six inputs (departure airport, destination airport, cruise altitude, aircraft profile, route of aircraft, and departure time) to calculate a complete navigation log. This navigation log includes:
- Forecast winds
- Airspeed (ground speed and true airspeed)
- Fuel consumption
- Time en route
- Distance between checkpoints
---+--------+---------+-----| |------ 1. Waypoint 1 | | Waypoint location |--------+----+---+------| Latitude Longitude Alt | Route Fuel | ---+--------+---------+-----| Winds Crs TAS Time |------ 2. Waypoint 2 | Temp Hdg GS Dist | Waypoint location |--------+----+---+------| Latitude Longitude Alt | | ---+--------+---------+-----| |------
Downloadable airport diagrams are available via a link from the main DUATS page.
Stored Aircraft Profiles
DUATS can store data on a particular type of airplane that the user generally flies so that it can be used for flight planning purposes. In order to store a profile, for a reciprocating engine aircraft, a user must enter airspeeds for climb, cruise and descent, rates of climb and descent, and fuel consumption for all three stages of flight. For a turbine-powered aircraft, everything is the same except that fuel consumption is entered on an hourly basis, e.g. first hour, second hour...tenth hour. Once stored, this data can be automatically entered in the correct fields for flight plans and weather forecast requests.
Flight Plan Filing
Once a flight plan has been entered, it can be sent directly into the FAA flight plan database using DUATS. After a VFR flight has been completed, DUATS can also be used to report the flight plan as closed to the FAA.
A flight plan can be entered and then stored to be flown later. These routes can be created automatically ("Take me from A to B via the shortest route", "via Victor airway", or "via Jet route"), or they can be entered manually. If entered manually, the DUATS system will accept the following as waypoints:
- NAVAIDs (VOR or NDB)
- Fix/Radial/Distance – the point a specified distance from a given fix along a given bearing
- Latitude/Longitude – accepted formats include:
- degrees and minutes
- degrees, minutes, seconds, and tenths
Encode and Decode Contractions
DUATS can display the identifier for an airport or navaid given the name, and the name given the identifier. Also, DUATS can take a standard contraction and give the plain English definition.
Much the same way that DUATS can store the profile of an aircraft so that it only needs to be entered once for multiple flights, DUATS can also store required information about a pilot and then enter it automatically when filing a flight plan.
- "DUAT Users Guide". April 2010. p. 108.