332 Development of significant convection forecast product and service for air traffic flow management in Hong Kong

Tuesday, 25 January 2011
Ping Cheung, Hong Kong Observatory, Hong Kong, China; and C. C. Lam
Manuscript (1.5 MB)

Handout (3.0 MB)

The Hong Kong FIR (HKFIR) spans over the northern part of the South China Sea. With increasing air traffic in the region, major air traffic disruption may occur when significant convection affects key Air Traffic Control (ATC) areas such as major holding areas for arrival flights to the east and south of Hong Kong or the boundary zones over the northern and southern parts of the HKFIR where flight level selection is required for in-bound and out-bound flights in severe weather situations. To better plan and manage the air traffic, appropriate flow control measures in coordination with neighbouring FIRs need to be taken by ATC with a view to reducing flight delays and diversions, maximizing capacity and optimizing the flow of air traffic in the HKFIR.

Recently, the Hong Kong Observatory has developed new significant convection forecast product and briefing service to ATC to facilitate their planning of air traffic flow and making informed decisions on exercising flow control measures in anticipation of significant weather in the next few hours. The new service covers forecast for HKFIR for the next 12 hours with a focus on the key ATC areas and the next 6 hours. The trial commenced in June 2010.

This paper describes the development of the new service, in particular, the use of numerical weather prediction model outputs and other objective methods in the automatic generation of significant convection forecast. Future plans to better address the needs of air traffic flow management will also be presented.

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