Adverse weather conditions are the first cause of traffic delay: the European Network Manager reported 4.8 million minutes of En-route weather delay in 2018, corresponding to 25% of total delayed En-route air traffic.
Forecasting weather hazards with 1-hour horizon, and its extension to 3-hour horizon, is currently covered by meteorological existing forecast products, while strong unreliability on meteorological products can be observed beyond this period.
The air traffic control declares the ability to absorb the expected traffic with 6 hours of anticipation; therefore it is necessary to provide accurate and high-precision meteorological data for better decision-making.
FRACS, as the expertise and consultancy office of the French civil aviation, and METSAFE, as the innovative meteorological web services provider for air traffic management, combined their expertise since 2019 for the SESAR Engage Thematic challenge, “Efficient provision and use of meteorological information in ATM.
The objective of this project is to design and validate an R&D convection product dedicated to enhanced ATFCM (Air Traffic Flow and Capacity Management), with the 6-hour time horizon as a target.
Expected benefits for air traffic control are a safety-level increase and an improvement of the overall ATM system performance thanks to the provision of an accurate and high-precision meteorological data for better decision-making.
Up-to-date and accurate European thunderstorms forecast at +6 horizon based on a multi-weather model have been delivered as a SWIM web service for Reims Upper Area Control Centre (UAC). “This information highly contributes to the forecast of the operational impact induced by weather phenomenon and ease the ATFCM tactical planning activities” says Gérald Régniaud, Deputy Head of Reims UAC Air Traffic Services.
Findings of this project will also contribute to SESAR initiatives related to MET and SWIM development. Beyond the R&D project, there is an opportunity to evolve towards an industrial and operational product through its integration into air traffic control systems or on-board solutions.
The next steps will be to integrate various accurate weather data information into a centralised weather impact prediction tool dedicated to air traffic management, as VIGIAERO, developed by METSAFE. “Combining various weather hazards forecasts will lead to better planned re-routes to avoid weather phenomena. This weather impact prediction tool will also enhance the collaboration between air traffic control centres.”
developed by METSAFE. “Combining various weather hazards forecasts will lead to better planned re-routes to avoid weather phenomena. This weather impact prediction tool will also enhance the collaboration between air traffic control centres. N° 783287.