845 Integrated Turbulence Forecasts

Wednesday, 13 January 2016
James Foerster, Schneider Electric, Minneapolis, MN

A key area of increased focus for airline operators in regards to weather is flight hazard avoidance and more specifically, turbulence. Incidents involving large airlines in the news for having encountered severe turbulence causing injuries as well as travel disruptions is on the rise. Turbulence alone is responsible to over 1 Billion USD of lost revenue for airlines each year, in addition to being the leading cause of non-fatal injuries for airlines. Airlines are desperately looking for solutions to help them avoid these situations and although there have been attempts to address the challenges of accurate turbulence forecasts, none of these offer a complete solution to the problem. Rather than relying on a system that warns aircraft of turbulence once it is encountered by other aircraft, a fully integrated turbulence avoidance solution must start with the flight-planning process, where accurate and actionable turbulence forecasts allow for routing of flights that avoids areas of significant turbulence. Real-time monitoring of flight routes must occur as part of a robust flight-following package, with precision global forecasts at any flight level available. Finally, the solution must extend to the pilots with EFB solutions that ensure all areas of an airline have access to the same information.

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