10.2 TAFs in the NextGen Era

Wednesday, 3 August 2011: 1:45 PM
Imperial Suite ABC (Los Angeles Airport Marriott)
James Harry Hartman III, FAA, Washington, DC; and C. Sims and S. Walden

Handout (1.2 MB)

The Terminal Aerodrome Forecast (TAF) serves the aviation community's interests world-wide and is the cornerstone of aviation weather. A look at the TAF production in the NextGen era will reveal the need for changes to enhance the TAF's use and applicability. To meet the goals of NextGen, several key areas require further examination. These areas include Federal regulations governing TAFs, the use of forecast probabilities, the connection between the 4-Dimensional Weather Data Cube and National Digital Forecast Database (NDFD) and the use of Enhanced Weather Information Systems (EWINS). The TAF is a key link in the National Airspace System (NAS); it impacts the flow of traffic from terminal to terminal. It can set the acceptance rates, warn of hazards, direct the pilot on fuel load and the airport configuration. Yet the TAF has changed little. The FAA's Aviation Weather Research Program (AWRP) and the National Weather Service (NWS) are working to improve the TAF production through enhanced capabilities; such as NCV (National Ceiling and Visibility), LAMP (Localized Aviation MOS (Model Output Statistics) Product) and digital forecasts of ceiling, visibility and other sensible weather from which TAFs are generated.
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