340 Advancing Effective On-Site Decision Support to the FAA Terminal Approach Control (TRACON) Facilities

Monday, 8 January 2018
Exhibit Hall 3 (ACC) (Austin, Texas)
Charles A. West, NOAA/NWS, Hampton, GA; and P. A. Atwell

Starting in 2009, National Weather Service Center Weather Service Units (CWSUs) in New York, Atlanta and Chicago, began a process of focused product and procedure sharing to enhance customer support to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) en route and terminal facilities. The program, dubbed the “Golden Triangle Initiative,” covers the eastern one-third of the U.S., which is the heaviest traveled airspace in the country and the most sensitive to weather events. This effort was officially concluded in December 2015, and was re-focused to enhance the delivery of face-to-face weather decision support in the larger TRACONs, included the addition of Washington Center, and was renamed the “Golden Triangle Evolution”.

A ninety day test was conducted at the Atlanta super TRACON (A80) from 1 April 2017 to 30 June 2017, to test the feasibility of this support to the TRACON by a modified five forecaster Center Weather Service Unit (CWSU). The additional forecaster position was designed as a management position that would lend a second layer on management at the CWSU and be capable of maintaining a flexible schedule to support the dynamic needs of the FAA.

Results of the test indicated improved services to the TRACON Traffic Management decision support, as well as improvements to operations, long term planning and controller training. Additionally, during the three month test, this position increased product development and services to all FAA facilities that underlay the Atlanta Air Route Traffic Control Center airspace.

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