BMI is to lead a group of airlines testing a de-icing forecast service offered by the UK's meteorological service.

The Met Office warned this year that airlines are wasting money reheating de-icing fluid as a precaution on days with no risk of icing (Flight International, 17-24 August). The Site-Specific Forecast Model (SSFM) predicts the likelihood of icing and turbulence in every 20km (11nm) of airspace above flight level 250 (25,000ft/7,600m) in Europe and much of the North Atlantic.

Paul Drinkwater, BMI operations manager, says: "The time window when de-icing is required is largely an educated guess based on non-specific airport warnings." The internet-based five-day SSFM forecasts provide more detail than a standard terminal aerodrome forecast, the Met Office says, and consists of various components including temperature, rainfall and hold-over times for the following 24h period. The launch is part of a drive to offer "value added" meteorological services to aviation, it says.

Source: Flight International