Evolving Weather Research Priorities for the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen)
The FAA's Weather Research Branch, including the Aviation Weather Research Program (AWRP) and the Weather Technology in the Cockpit (WTIC ) Program, performs applied research to minimize the impact of weather on the NAS from both a safety and operational efficiency perspective. AWRP has a long history of sponsoring important research initiatives including the development of icing, turbulence, and ceiling/visibility products on the NWS' Aviation Digital Data Service (ADDS) display as well as the Consolidated Storm Prediction for Aviation (CoSPA). WTIC has recently been refocused and is now largely involved in research to develop new standards, requirements, and guidance to ensure pilots have access to timely and relevant weather information.
Both AWRP and WTIC are examining current and future research portfolios, with the understanding that several key factors will influence how research is prioritized in the next several years: • The FAA is transitioning NextGen and weather requirements are morphing from higher resolution and better accuracy to more applicability and relevancy (e.g. weather translated to aviation impact) • Today's budget challenges which include shrinking allocations and increased scrutiny will limit the scope of many research initiatives • Improved collaboration and engagement within the FAA, throughout the government, and with industry partners will be needed to avoid duplicative research, and clearly define the line of sight for transition to operations.
This presentation will discuss how both AWRP and WTIC will evolve their identification, selection, prioritization, and management of research initiatives to better prepare and inform the research community regarding future FAA weather research needs and priorities.