6.4 Tradeoffs in Flight Routing under Consideration of Multiple Weather Hazards

Tuesday, 24 January 2017: 2:15 PM
Conference Center: Skagit 2 (Washington State Convention Center )
Manuela Sauer, NCAR, Boulder, CO; and M. Steiner, R. D. Sharman, J. O. Pinto, and D. R. Adriaansen

Strategic planning and tactical nudging of flights consider airspace constraints and weather.  Today’s management of air traffic is heavily geared towards avoiding areas of convective storms.  Other weather hazards such as turbulence and icing are not as prominently featured in the daily planning process and dealt with ad hoc during flight execution as needed.  Here we examine the tradeoffs of considering single or multiple weather hazards at various stages in the flight planning and execution.  Results will be presented for the 17-19 November 2015 period that experienced significant weather impacts across the eastern United States.  Metrics discussed include flight distance and encounters of weather hazards not considered as a function of when hazard avoidance deviation is initiated (e.g., before takeoff, some distance away from hazard area, or no deviation at all).  Route planning and simulations are performed using the adverse weather avoidance model DIVMET that accounts for horizontal avoidance maneuvers and anticipates vertical options for icing and turbulence hazards.  Effects resulting from proactive route adjustments under consideration of forecast information are compared against those of a nudged routing through the actual weather situation.
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