85th AMS Annual Meeting

Tuesday, 11 January 2005
Halloween 2003 storms: providing Space Weather services for aviation operations
R. H. A. Iles, SolarMetrics Limited, Guildford, Surrey, United Kingdom; and J. B. L. Jones and M. J. Smith
This poster presents details of the October/November 2003 “Halloween Storms” and the observed impacts upon international airline operations; polar routes were re-directed, delayed or cancelled; lower flight altitudes were suggested; and Air Traffic Control imposed reduced flow rates along airways.

Operational decisions were based purely on subjective and personal assessments within the scope of individual airline policies, and upon limited information and understanding of Solar and Space activity. Even State guidance on aircrew exposure to cosmic radiation was poor, contradictory, and unclear. Therefore, there is a real need for clear, timely and understandable aviation-specific Space Weather warnings, alerts and information.

SolarMetrics presents a brief overview of how, using it's Solar Modulation of Atmospheric Radiation Technology (S.M.A.R.T.) model and systems, it will be possible for airlines to make informed operational decisions rather than taking overly conservative precautions; decisions to reroute or fly below optimum during the Halloween Storms due to the perceived radiation hazard were unnecessary and expensive due to the increased fuel costs, loss of cargo and diversions.

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