J36.4 A Commercial Airline's Use of The Weather Company/IBM's Current Condition Assimilation System for Flight Operations in the Caribbean

Wednesday, 15 January 2020: 9:30 AM
257AB (Boston Convention and Exhibition Center)
Joseph P. Koval, The Weather Company, Atlanta, GA; and B. Krajewski, D. Winn, and I. Rahman

Commercial aviation operations require up-to-date surface weather observations at departure and arrival airports for performance calculations and other regulatory compliance. However, airlines often desire to conduct flight operations at some airports when surface observations may not be available. This is particularly true outside of the CONUS, where 24-hour observation availability at commercial airports is somewhat less prevalent. Additionally, there are periods when all or portions of the official observation is unavailable due to sensor malfunctions. Without such observations, flight operations may be significantly restricted or prevented at affected locations.

Recently, JetBlue partnered with The Weather Company, an IBM Business, to obtain FAA approval to use temperature and surface pressure observations from TWC’s Currents on Demand (COD) system to conduct limited flight operations at ten Caribbean locations in scenarios where the official observations are unavailable. Similar to the NWS RTMA, TWC’s COD system is applied in 2-dimensional space to assimilate conventional and remotely sensed observations along with model data to produce estimates of surface weather conditions at any global location. This presentation will briefly describe the COD system and the data denial verification study conducted to measure the variance between COD observations of temperature and pressure and in-situ surface observations. It will then explore the process of collaborating with the FAA and using the data denial results to gain EWINS approval to use COD observations in flight operations at the ten Caribbean airports. Finally, the presentation will describe how JetBlue uses the COD observations in real-time flight operations.

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