Weather impact for ATM: a challenge rewarded!

Our activities with METSAFE and two upper area control centers from the French DSNA have been rewarded by the SESAR JU! The Weather Impact Prediction for ATM (WIPA) project launched last summer to address the provision of enhanced weather information and impact on traffic flows reached the second place for the SESAR Digital European Sky Award, in the Exploratory Research category.

As operational validations are running with Marseille and Reims UACs, this step represent a real recognition for the whole team involved during the last two years in this challenge of addressing meteorology for ATFCM through a fully automated approach. MET Enhanced ATFCM and WIPA initiatives led to the design of a decision-making tool to enhance weather situational awareness and to support the implementation of ATFCM mitigation measures.

The initial objectives have been fulfilled, as stated by Bérangère Arnould, FMP Manager at Reims UAC : « It has been two summers that Reims UAC has been testing the Weather Impact Prediction for ATM (WIPA). This state-of-the-art technology allows the FMP to assess quickly the weather situation and take protective mesures if necessary, up to 24 hours in advance. The tool is appreciated by the FMP users and every feedback or demand of improvement from the control room is rapidly taken into account by MetSafe. We can already see the improvements in our HMI as well as in the prediction quality.”

The whole team is proud to contribute to the innovation in the domain of meteorological services for ATM. Stéphanie Crocetti-Pappon, FMP Manager from Marseille UAC is pleased to have joined the WIPA/VIGIAERO project this year: “Our geographical situation often leads to convective weather situations during summer. This new tool gives FMP the impact of weather forecast on control sectors for the next hours and allows to anticipate ATFCM mesures to handle traffic demand safely and the most efficiently possible. We work closely with Metsafe team, they take into account our feedbacks and requests very quickly and it’s much appreciated by users.”

The activities led over the past two years are the symbol of a successful collaboration between the operations room and IT development, as they represent the cornerstone of further industrial development supported by METSAFE. FRACS will pursue its involvement in air traffic optimisation activities for more ATM safety and performance, and totally agrees with Stéphanie: “We are looking forward continuing this AGILE process, to improve our situation awareness and to run our operations in bad weather conditions without strong disruptions.”