Safety Risk Management—What does it Mean for Aviation Weather Information for International Services?

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Wednesday, 5 February 2014
Hall C3 (The Georgia World Congress Center )
Steven Albersheim, FAA, Washington, DC; and M. K. Peterson, L. Burch, and T. J. Helms Jr.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has a statutory responsibility to promote safety and to provide for the safe use of airspace. To meet this responsibility, as well as satisfy the FAA's commitment to the International Civil Aviation Organization's (ICAO) safety management standards, the FAA implemented an agency-wide Safety Management System (SMS). A key component of the FAA's SMS is Safety Risk Management (SRM). The goal of SRM is to identify, manage, and mitigate safety risks associated with changes (e.g., changes to systems, equipment, and procedures) that impact safety in the National Airspace System (NAS). Meteorological services are not exempt from this process.

As the US Meteorological Authority for aviation weather services, both domestic and international, the FAA is responsible for completing the SRM process before introducing any change in facilities, communication, supporting technologies or system, policies and procedures related to weather information into the NAS. The FAA has a history of completing the analyses required by the SRM process for domestic aviation weather information and services, including a number of recent cases (Graphical Turbulence Guidance product, Ceiling and Visibility project). However, it was just in 2013 that the FAA conducted an SRM for changes that involved international aviation weather services for the first time.

This paper will describe the FAA's SMS and SRM processes as they relate to the introduction of new or updated weather products and information. The recently implemented World Area Forecast System (WAFS) gridded forecasts for Turbulence, Icing, and Cumulonimbus Clouds will be used as an illustration of how the processes work for changes internationally.