Aviation Station Browser

Version 1.0 Download App or Download App, parsed stations, and class files.

What is this one?
I needed a parsed list of aviation weather reporting stations for another project I'm working on, so I wrote a little utility to take the master file at the Aviation Weather Center ( stations.txt ) and turn it into a Cocoa object. I created a couple of Objective-C/Cocoa classes for that and a resulting parsed file, and put it over here so if you are writing something that needs a list of 9000 some airports you can download the list plus the class files and drop them in your app, I've done the work for you. All that is down below .
But as usual I got carried away.
What does it do for fun?

Shows you the weather and a view of over 9000 airport or aviation stations worldwide!

How do I use it?
Pretty simple. Launch the app and select one of the 9000+ stations in the list.
It'll go out and query the National Weather Service and pull the current METAR and TAF (if available) for that station and put it in the text boxes on the lower right.
It will also ask for a graphic representation of the station and display it in the box on the upper right.
That view defaults to the satellite view (because that's what I like) (and dang it, I just added remembering the last map type you used so you don't have to put up with my choice, so don't email me about it).

You can click on the control under the box for alternate views.
If you select Sectional it asks Skyvector.com to display the sectional chart for that station.
By the way, that box is slightly small for a sectional view. To help with that just double-click the sectional and you'll be taken to Safari (or whatever default browser you use) and you'll be taken directly to Skyvector.com for a full-screen view of the sectional.

What else can I do?

You can search for a particular airport or set of airports by using the control and search box on the bottom left.
The ICAO setting means search by abbreviation, like KSFO for San Franciso International.
The Station setting is for the name of the airport.
The State setting is for searching by state or country name.
You can search for multiple stations by separating them by spaces or commas, so an entry like sjc sfo or sjc,sfo will show San Jose International and San Francisco International.


You can also set your favorite airports to monitor. I monitor KSJC, KRHV, and KBOI, for example, since I often fly between those airports.
Just select Make Favorite from the Tools menu and that station will become a favorite. You can Unfavorite a favorite airport by selecting a favorite airport and selecting Unfavorite from the Tools menu.
There is also a Show Favorites menu item under Tools so you can get a list of just your current favorites. That menu item changes to Show All when you do that so you can get back to the complete list.

When you select a station in the list the app asks for the weather for that station, as I mentioned above.
If you have some favorites set, check the Always get Fav weather and whenever the app gets single station weather data it will also query weather at all your favorites.

There is also a timer running. Every 30 minutes it will re-ask for the weather at the selected station, and favorites if you've checked that.

Why don't I see any weather?
Sometimes weather won't appear for a station. That may be because that station doesn't report weather, the METAR may be in the process of being updated, or something went wrong, usually a timeout from the weather query.
And, of course, many stations do not report TAFs, so that field is often empty.
You can look at the master list, scroll over to the METAR column to check. If it's got an X it reports METARs. If it has a T in the Aviation Specific column it reports TAFs.
Why isn't the app filtering that? Because I don't want to. The listing is not perfect, so I want to make the request no matter what.

And what else?

On the bottom right is another handy filter I put in for myself for flight planning. It will show you the airports within a certain mileage for the selected airport, 10,25,50, and 100 miles distant. This is handy for quickly finding alternates or for seeing what airport you might want to go to instead of the one selected. Just select an airport, use the popup to select a distance, and click the Within miles: button.

Generating or using the parsed stations.txt file
How do I do that?
First off, an already parsed file (creatively named Stations.AWSPCK) is included in this zip package, so you don't really need to do anything else. Grab that file, and the 4 source files also included, incorporate them into your app.

Download stations.txt from the ADDS server (or from the master site here). DO NOT MODIFY THE FILE IN ANY WAY! If you do my parser will fail in some spectacular or subtle way, and you will be Sad. I am not doing any error checking because I'm old and tired, and it works if you don't mess up the file. Click the "Parse" button in the lower left. You'll be asked to select the stations.txt file, and the app will parse it. It's pretty quick. I'll start using that version of stations inside this app to start.

Then you can select Save from the file menu or the button in the window to output the file in the format supported by the two classes I mentioned above, you're ready to drop that and those classes in your own file and away you go. The file type is 'AWSPCK', for "Aviation Weather Stations Parsed by C.K."
Then go to this page and read about the classes that you can include in your iOS or OS X app to work with this data. By the way, since this is plain Objective-C, you can also use it with Swift, meaning it is compatible with the open source versions of Swift for other platforms. Meaning if you're on Linux or using IBMs cloud Swift services just grab the parsed file and the two source files and you don't ever need to run the Mac app. Then go write an interesting aviation app that I will use.

What files does this app automatically create?
ASB creates two files on your drive. One is the preferences file in /"username"/Library/Preferences/ravenware.stations-cruncher.plist, the other is your list of favorite stations at /Users/"username"/Library/Application Support/Aviation Station Browser/awbfavorites.awbfv. Both can be safely deleted. They are tiny.

What network acces does this app do?
ASB only reads from the Internet. It reads from https://aviationweather.gov/adds/ and https://skyvector.com/. No data is read from or sent from your device.

I'm always interested in feedback and feature requests. Send all that to flight@ravenware.com

Copyright © 2016 Ravenware Industries LLC and C.K. Haun Free. ASB and the included files are released under the Fredware License.
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