Communications specialist Sita has linked up with the UK Met Office weather service to provide a tool designed to enable more accurate flight planning.

Airlines are being offered real-time, web-based graphical weather data related directly to the planned route of each flight, rather than the generalised, larger-scale upper wind and significant weather charts currently provided to most crews by their operations departments.

The Met Office/Sita venture, which already offers an aircraft de-icing forecast service, says the new tailored en-route product – dubbed the Advanced Weather Service – will be available from the end of November.

When a route is weight-critical, the system’s more precise forecasting will enable airlines to maximise the payloads they can carry, and five-day forecasting gives the airlines more time to assess the loads they can plan for, the partnership promises.

Specific weather phenomena such as clear air turbulence can be more accurately related to the aircraft’s trajectory, and fast-moving systems such as hurricanes can be plotted for where they will be when the aircraft reaches that part of its trip, with graphical in-flight updates passed to the crew.

Finally, airport weather forecasts can be tailored to recognise whether the conditions are likely to infringe the minima set by individual airlines.


Source: Flight International