92nd American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting (January 22-26, 2012)

Wednesday, 25 January 2012: 9:45 AM
Enhancing the FAA Traffic Management of Convective Weather Impacts by Providing CIWS Products on the Traffic Situation Display (TSD)
Room 335/336 (New Orleans Convention Center )
Elizabeth Ducot, MIT Lincoln Laboratory, Lexington, MA; and J. McMillon and R. Oiesen

Delays have continued to be a major problem in the U.S. National Airspace System (NAS). Many of these air traffic delays are caused by reductions in en route and terminal capacity due to severe convective weather. Beyond issues of inefficiency, safety, and the broader environmental concerns over unnecessary fuel consumption, mitigating these delays is of particular urgency due to the rising cost of aviation fuel.

Operational testing of the Corridor Integrated Weather System (CIWS) prototype has shown that the CIWS storm reflectivity and storm echo tops 0-2 hour forecasts enable the FAA decision makers to achieve more efficient tactical use of the airspace, reduce traffic manager workload, and significantly reduce delay relative to what would have occurred in the absence of CIWS. However, the overall operational benefits from the CIWS products have been limited due to the fact that the fact that CIWS, as a prototype, could provide access to the CIWS products to only a limited number of facilities and airlines on dedicated weather-only situational displays (SDs). Cost of a broader deployment and the challenge in locating experimental displays within already crowded facilities has limited the availability of the products to users in situ and required that other potential users rely on the CIWS website.

A major enhancement in the FAA ability to manage convective weather impacts will occur in FY12 when the CIWS products will appear on the Traffic Situation Display (TSD), which is the graphical display tool used by FAA traffic managers engaged in traffic flow management (TFM). The TSD depicts on a map display a number of TFM products such as flights, alerted sectors, flow-constrained areas (FCAs), reroutes, and weather. The CIWS weather products represent a big step forward in the quality and completeness of the weather displayed on the TSD. Because the TSD is deployed to all of the FAA ARTCCs, large TRACONs, and major towers, the availability of CIWS products will no longer be an issue; hence, significant benefits are anticipated due to: 1. Improved common situational awareness between the various FAA traffic management decision makers 2. The ability to spatially relate the CIWS products to major traffic flows and create appropriate locations for TFM traffic control mechanisms such as FCAs. Additionally, the real time availability of CIWS products on the TSD platform will facilitate the development and deployment of integrated weather-air traffic management (wx-ATM) tools such as the Route Availability Planning Tool (RAPT), which provides decision support for departures from major airports during periods where severe weather avoidance plans (SWAP) are in effect.

The paper will discuss the prototyping process leading up to the successful integration, including the use of a standard interface through the CIWS System Wide Information Management (SWIM) gateway to achieve the real-time connection between the two programs.

This work was sponsored by the Federal Aviation Administration under Air Force Contract No. FA8721-05-C-0002. Opinions, interpretations, conclusions, and recommendations are those of the authors and are not necessarily endorsed by the United States Government.

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