209 NOAA National Weather Service Headquarters Partnering with the International Aviation Community

Monday, 23 January 2017
Cecilia Miner, NOAA/NWS, Silver Spring, MD; and M. Graf and C. Sims

Handout (1.6 MB)

The Aviation and Space Weather Services Branch (ASWSB) at the headquarters of NOAA National Weather Service (NWS) participates in a number of international efforts aimed at improving aviation weather products and services. This paper describes, under the umbrellas of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), how ASWSB members serve the international aviation weather community.

The WMO Commission on Aeronautical Meteorology (CAeM) is charged with coordinating aviation-weather related activities with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), its “sister” United Nations agency. The CAeM serves as the governing body for the WMO Aeronautical Meteorology Program. In that role, the CAeM oversees a number of expert teams, two of which have members from the ASWSB. The Expert Team on Information and Services for Aviation (ET-ISA), co-led by Météo France and Japan Meteorological Agency, is working to identify and evaluate emerging meteorological techniques and services supporting aviation in the terminal area, develop customer-relevant performance metrics and verification methodologies, and promote common data standards. As such, the ET-ISA works closely with the Aviation Research Demonstration Project described later. The second team with NWS Headquarters participation is the Expert Team on Communication, Coordination, and Partnership (ET-CCP), co-led by the Russian Federation and South Africa. The ET-CCP works to facilitate effective communication through WMO regional associations among aeronautical meteorology programs in member States with varying levels of technological development. In addition, the ET-CCP develops country profiles for aeronautical meteorology services.

Another effort with ASWSB participation is the Aviation Research Demonstration Project (AvRDP), led by the Hong Kong Observatory, The AvRDP is currently a WMO program under CAeM. The AvRDP’s purpose is to demonstrate nowcast and modeling techniques in support of weather services to Air Traffic Management, particularly near airports. The goal is to facilitate transfer of research and new operational applications to help the ICAO Aviation System Block Upgrades (ASBU) schedule. The AvRDP expects to be upgraded to status as a WMO Intercommission Project under CAeM, the Commission for Basic Systems, and the Commission for Atmospheric Sciences/World Weather Research Programme.

In terms of regional associations, the ASWSB has provided the aviation task chair for Regional Association-IV (RA-IV), which consists of North America, Central America, and the Caribbean. This active group recently conducted a SIGMET workshop, with the results of extensive seminars provided to meteorological services of member States to adapt to their own programs.

Under the ICAO umbrella, the ASWSB serves frequently as subject matter experts to the Federal Aviation Administration on a variety of aviation meteorology subjects, including volcanic ash, space weather, and tropical cyclones. Contributions are made through ICAO’s Meteorology Panel under the Air Navigation Commission in support of ICAO’s ASBU goals. Additionally, in response to ICAO request, the United States maintains two of nine global Volcanic Ash Advisory Centers primarily to provide warnings of hazardous volcanic ash to the international aviation community.

With aviation continuing to grow in importance globally, the NWS ASWSB is proud to serve the current and future aeronautical meteorology needs of the flying community.

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