Celebrating World Meteorological Day 2018

23 March 2018

Today, we join the international community in celebrating World Meteorological Day 2018 - and to promote the need for more widespread collaboration in weatherproofing the air traffic management network.

47% of last year’s airport arrival delays were imputable to bad weather. Weather has an increasingly large impact on the network’s operations and this trend is forecast to continue.

Adverse weather can influence traffic demand and affect the whole aviation system - as well as the environment - in many ways.

Increased temperatures can have an impact on aircraft climb performance. If an aircraft flies at a lower altitude, this will, in turn, affect the distribution of noise in the locality.

Heavy rain can put pressure on the airport surface’s drainage capacity and affect airport throughput and performance.

Even if less snow is expected in the future in Europe, there may be heavy snowfalls in unusual geographical areas which can affect airports and en-route operations which do not have appropriate operating procedures in place.

Storms are expected to become more widespread and more extreme. Convective weather (which is when excess water vapour in rising air parcels condenses to form clouds) can be detrimental to flight predictability and punctuality.

Changes in prevailing wind directions are also expected; this will lead to an increase in crosswinds.

The Jetstream has a sizeable impact on traffic flows. If these traffic flows are not cleverly managed, it will lead to increasing airspace saturation.

These are just a few examples of how weather can affect air traffic management.

Understanding the issue

For detailed information on how bad weather affects the network, you can download the Network Operations Report.

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Join the 2018 Network Manager Weather Forum

In a concerted attempt to weatherproof the air traffic management network, we are calling on the ATM community to join the Network Manager Weather Forum on 3-4 May in Brussels.

We are organising a dedicated forum to identify proposals and potential procedures that could be implemented in the short- and medium-term, for both airports and en-route.

The four fundamental weather-related issues that need to be addressed today by the ATM community are:

  • Do we have the right kinds of weather forecasts?
  • How best can we identify and deal with local weather problems when they threaten to affect large portions of the network?
  • What are the current best practices?
  • Which are the areas we need to collaborate on?

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