Veteran Research Pilot to Head NOAA’s Aviation Weather Center

January 30, 2008

NOAA has named Robert Maxson director of the Aviation Weather Center in Kansas City, the nation’s primary source of weather information for domestic and international flights. Maxson will leave his post as a research pilot with the National Science Foundation in Boulder, Colo. and begin his new duties at NOAA on Feb. 4.

“I’ve been actively involved in the study of weather and its effect on the performance and operational safety of aircraft,” Maxson said. “I plan to use my experience to keep NOAA among the leaders in research and operational forecasting. I look forward to working with the professionals in Kansas City who are constantly looking for better ways to provide critical weather information to the aviation industry.”

Operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the Aviation Weather Center enhances aviation safety by issuing accurate warnings, forecasts, and advisories of hazardous weather for aircraft in flight and the commercial and private aviation communities. The center’s forecasters provide weather information to protect life and property over the United States, Gulf of Mexico, and the Caribbean Sea, and over the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

Maxson has 30 years of experience in aviation weather as a NOAA Corps officer and pilot. He began his NOAA career in 1978 in Kings Point, N.Y., and retired in 2005 as director of the NOAA Aircraft Operations Center, located at MacDill Air Force Base in Florida. Maxson earned his bachelor’s degree from the Florida Institute of Technology and his master’s degree from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School. He has also been a research pilot with the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and information service delivery for transportation, and by providing environmental stewardship of our nation’s coastal and marine resources. Through the emerging Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), NOAA is working with its federal partners, more than 70 countries and the European Commission to develop a global monitoring network that is as integrated as the planet it observes, predicts and protects.