Session 10.3 Alaska ceiling and visibility (c&v) users needs assessment Alaska Pilot Study

Thursday, 7 October 2004: 2:00 PM
Cynthia Grzywinski, Raytheon Technical Service Co., Atlantic City, NJ; and D. L. Sims

Presentation PDF (276.7 kB)

Alaska presents some of the most unique challenges to providers and users of aviation weather information in general, and C&V identification and prediction in particular. Alaska is unique, due mostly to its vast size, remoteness, large proportion of General Aviation (GA) traffic, and topographic and climatic variability. Given the extremes in distance and terrain between observing and forecast stations, weather information systems are often unable to provide accurate information on current or forecast C&V conditions along low-altitude flight paths. With an aviation accident rate three to four times greater than that of the other 49 states, where oftentimes-poor C&V conditions were reportedly a factor, the need for better and more available C&V detection and prediction information is evident.

Under the auspices of the FAA’s Operations Planning Research and Development Aviation Weather Research Program (AWRP), and as part of the National C&V Product Development Team’s (PDT’s) initiative, the FAA’s William J. Hughes’s Technical Center (WJHTC) Verification Services Division Weather Sensors and Processors Group conducted the Alaska C&V Users Needs Assessment to help provide direction and need for future Alaskan C&V product development. This paper will focus on the outcome of this study which explored: impacts of C&V on flight operations in Alaska; issues surrounding C&V detection and forecasting; inherent benefits and weaknesses of current C&V information sources; requirements for future C&V product display development; and information needs for better C&V prediction. Insights from a representative number of Alaska aviation weather users including: commercial and private pilots; air traffic controllers; airline dispatchers; air traffic control flight service specialists; and National Weather Service (NWS) aviation weather forecasters are presented here.

- Indicates paper has been withdrawn from meeting
- Indicates an Award Winner