CSC DUATS on the Web
Frequently Asked Questions

This page is designed to answer frequently asked questions about CSC DUATS on the Web. It will be updated periodically to reflect answers to questions that are asked by our users.


List of Questions

The questions that are currently answered are listed below. Click on any question to jump to that question and its answer, or you may scroll down to read all of the questions and answers.

  1. Who is eligible to use this system?
  2. What data is available on this system?
  3. When getting a briefing on DUATS, is this considered to be an offical pre-flight briefing, with the same standing as a briefing I'd get by calling Flight Service?
  4. How do I get a shorter weather briefing to print and take with me for use in flight?
  5. Why do I need a separate access code to access DUATS?
  6. Is profile information shared between this system and the DUATS I access via 1-800-767-9989 (modem) or direct.duats.com (telnet)?
  7. Why do you use cookies?
  8. Do you use Java or JavaScript?
  9. Flight plans look garbled - how can I fix this?
  10. Can you give me some suggestions on how to print things?

Information on how to register for CSC DUATS is given below.


Questions and Answers

  1. Who is eligible to use this system?
  2. DUATS is funded by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for the use of U.S. pilots. Typically, pilots with current U.S. medical certificates (regardless of the nationality of the pilot) will be able to automatically obtain access to DUATS using the new user sign up facility. If you have a current U.S. medical certificate or student pilot and medical certificate and the system does not recognize you when you try to sign up, please follow the registration instructions below. Online sign up fails when a pilot's medical certificate is newer than the latest database that was supplied by the FAA to CSC. Unfortunately, the database is frequently up to nine months out of date.

  3. What data is available on this system?
  4. CSC DUATS only provides weather for the United States, including Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico. The flight planning databases contain only U.S. airports, navigational aids, and airways. Flight plan filing can only be done for plans that would be filed with U.S. FAA facilities (flight service stations for VFR flight plans and air traffic control facilities for IFR flight plans).

  5. When getting a briefing on DUATS, is this considered to be an offical pre-flight briefing, with the same standing as a briefing I'd get by calling Flight Service?
  6. Yes. A DUATS route briefing contains the same elements as a route briefing which is provided by an FAA Briefer. The briefing is recorded by DUATS, and your receipt of the data can be proven, should the need arise. (Of course, this requires you to sign on to DUATS using your own DUATS Access Code or Personal Access code!) The DUAT service is paid for by the FAA, and is certified by the FAA as being equivalent to a live Flight Service Specialist for pre-flight briefings.

  7. How do I get a shorter weather briefing to print and take with me for use in flight?
  8. A standard route briefing is designed to include all elements which are part of a standard FAA route weather briefing. You should review a full route briefing before your flight.

    If you wish to produce a shorter briefing to print out and take with you, you can select specific briefing elements using the Abbreviated Briefing - Route option from the main menu page. On the Abbreviated Route Briefing input page, you can select the individual weather types which you wish to have displayed.

    If you are using Microsoft Internet Explorer as your browser, you can also make the print-out shorter by making the text size smaller. To do this, on the View menu, select Text Size -> Smallest, and then press the print button. (Note that you must change the text size before printing!) Then restore your browser's normal text size by selecting Text Size -> Medium.

  9. Why do I need a separate access code to access DUATS?
  10. When the FAA originally specified the functionality of DUATS, it required that the system choose unrelated numbers for access to DUATS. A recent revision to the FAA's requirements for DUATS allows users to choose a second identifying number of 9 or 10 digits that may be used in addition to the 8-digit DUATS-assigned access code. You can make this second access code something that is easy for you to remember, such as your pilot certificate number or home phone number.

  11. Is profile information shared between this system and the DUATS I access via 1-800-767-9989 (modem) or direct.duats.com (telnet)?
  12. The best answer is "sort of." :-) And the answer isn't terribly simple. First, there are two kinds of profile information: user profile data, such as your address, phone number, default aircraft ID, etc.; and flight planner aircraft profiles.

    The modem/telnet DUATS and CSC DUATS on the Web are on separate computer systems (indeed, on opposite sides of the United States). When you initially sign on to CSC DUATS on the Web, your user profile information is extracted from DUATS and placed on the CSC DUATS on the Web system.

    If you change your password on CSC DUATS on the Web, the change will be reflected on the modem/telnet DUATS system. If you change your password on the modem/telnet DUATS system, you'll need to sign on with that new password on CSC DUATS on the Web. If you use the old password on CSC DUATS on the Web, you'll be able to sign on, but when you attempt to do something that requires the modem/telnet DUATS computer (weather briefings, filing flight plans), you'll get an error and will need to sign off and sign on again with the new password. In a nutshell, passwords on the two systems are syncronized.

    The flight planner aircraft profile databases and, for the moment, user profile database, are completely separate on the two systems. Changes on one system will have no effect whatsoever on the other system.

  13. Why do you use cookies?
  14. Cookies are used by CSC DUATS on the Web to link together all of the individual screens that make up a session. When you sign on, CSC DUATS on the Web issues to you a single cookie that contains a session identifier. This session identifier is valid for 30 minutes and allows the system to maintain context about a session (your origin and destination airports, route of flight, altitude, etc.).

    We do not at this time support long-life cookies that allow you to sign on automatically.

    The cookies are stored in your Web browser and automatically expire in 30 minutes. They are accessible only to the CSC DUATS on the Web system and cannot be viewed by other systems that you might be browsing at the same time.

    If your browser does not support cookies, or you have cookies turned off, CSC DUATS on the Web will not work. To turn on cookies, follow the steps below.

    Enabling Cookies: Netscape Navigator 4.x

    1. Select Preferences... from the Edit menu.
    2. Click the triangle next to Advanced.
    3. In the Cookies box, select Accept all cookies or Only accept cookies originating from the same server as the page being viewed.
    4. Click OK.

    Enabling Cookies: Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.x

    1. Select Internet Options... from the View menu.
    2. Click on the Advanced tab.
    3. Scroll down about halfway until you see the Security section. In the Security section, locate the Cookies subsection.
    4. Click on Always accept cookies.
    5. Click OK.

    There are known problems with certain service releases of Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.x. If you are having problems and your browser is Microsoft Internet Explorer version 4.x and you're running under a 32-bit Microsoft Windows system (Windows 95, 98, NT, etc.), please visit http://www.microsoft.com/msdownload/iebuild/ie4sp2_win32/en/ie4sp2_win32.htm to obtain the latest service pack for Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.x.

    Enabling Cookies: Microsoft Internet Explorer 5

    1. Select Internet Options... from the Tools menu.
    2. Click on the Security tab.
    3. Click on the Internet icon.
    4. Move the slider so that the Security level for this zone is at medium.
    5. Click on Default Level.
    6. Click OK.

    Rather than setting the security settings to the medium level, you may also simply enable cookies:

    1. Select Internet Options... from the Tools menu.
    2. Click on the Security tab.
    3. Click on the Internet icon.
    4. Click Custom Level.
    5. In the Cookies section, click Enable for the following items:
      • Allow per-session cookies (not stored)
      • Allow cookies that are stored on your computer
    6. Click OK.

  15. Do you use Java or JavaScript?
  16. Currently, CSC DUATS on the Web uses JavaScript but not Java. We use JavaScript for several things:

    We do not recommend disabling JavaScript, as it will significantly reduce the usability of CSC DUATS on the Web. If you have JavaScript disabled, or are using a browser that does not support JavaScript, you will find that the pop-up help links simply don't work. Checking of the data in fields will still be performed by the host system, but you'll get error messages on a page that is sent as a response to pushing a button rather than as a pop-up message when you push the button.

  17. Flight plans look garbled - how can I fix this?
  18. It's likely that in your browser's settings, you have selected a variable-width font for the font which is used to display fixed-width data such as flight plans.

    Setting Default Fonts: Netscape Navigator 4.x

    1. From the "Edit" menu, select "Preferences...".
    2. If it's not already open, open the "Appearance" category in the left column.
    3. Select "Fonts" from the "Appearance" category in the left column.
    4. For "Fixed Width Font", ensure that "Courier New" is selected.
    5. Click "OK".

    Setting Default Fonts: Microsoft Internet Explorer 5

    1. From the "Tools" menu, select "Internet Options..."
    2. Press the "Fonts..." button.
    3. In the right column ("Plain text font"), ensure that "Courier New" is selected.
    4. Click "OK" twice to close the two dialog boxes.

  19. Can you give me some suggestions on how to print things?
  20. You must have a printer available to your system, and that printer must be working. If your printer isn't working, please seek help elsewhere.

    You don't have to do anything special to print weather briefings, flight plans, etc., from your browser. Simply click the "Print" button or use the "Print" item on the "File" menu of your browser.

    If you want a weather briefing with less information than a standard route briefing, get a second briefing using the "Abbreviated Briefing" choice from the CSC DUATS on the Web Main Menu. With an abbreviated briefing, you can select exactly the reports you want to see in your briefing, and eliminate those you don't.

    Here's a trick which will reduce the size of your printout, if you are running Microsoft Internet Explorer.

    1. Before you print, on the "View" menu, under "Text Size," select "Smallest".
    2. Print as usual.
    3. Once you've started printing, unless you have an exceptionally good monitor or incredibly good eyes, go back and select "Medium" on the "Text Size" entry of the "View" menu.


Registration Instructions

Most pilots should be able to register for CSC DUATS online, using the New User Registration button on the sign on page. If you find that you are unable to register on line, please read the information below.

The database that DUATS uses to validate initial registrations comes from the FAA, and may be as many as nine months behind actual events. If you recently obtained a medical certificate, or a medical certificate and student pilot certificate, or if your medical certificate lapsed even for a short period of time, the system may not find you in the database.

To be added to the CSC DUATS database of eligible pilots, please send CSC the following information:

Pilots Copy of airman and medical certificates
Student Pilots Copy of medical/student pilot certificate
Flight Instructors
Without Current Medicals
Copy of airman certificate and current flight instructor certificate
Aviation Ground
Instructors (AGI)
Copy of current AGI certificate
Glider Pilots,
Balloon Pilots
Copy of airman certificate
Ultralight Pilots Copy of United States Ultralight Association (USUA)
registration card, showing registration number

Include a cover page indicating that you would like access to DUATS. Please also include how to get in touch with you by e-mail, fax, and/or phone.

You may send this information to CSC by e-mail, fax, or postal mail:
e-mail   E-mail the information, including a readable, scanned-in image of your certificate(s) in jpg or gif format to register@duats.com. Please do not send other image formats. If you are sending more than one image, send each image as a separate e-mail attachment - do not use zip or other archive formats.
fax Send a fax to 1-703-818-4593.
mail Mail your information to:
FAA DUATS Program - NMOC
Computer Sciences Corporation
15000 Conference Center Drive
Chantilly, VA 20151-3808

We will reply to you by e-mail, fax, or phone when you have been added to the database. (It may take a few days to get back to you.) Once you've been added to the database, simply return to http://www.duats.com to sign up for access to CSC DUATS on the Web.

For further assistance, please call CSC's toll-free support line at 1-800-345-3828, 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.


Copyright © 1997-2004 ENFLIGHT All rights reserved. $Id: faq.html,v 1.2 2009/09/11 19:25:14 patched Exp $