Session 5B.2 Distance learning training for aviation forecasters: The impact of weather on air traffic management

Monday, 1 August 2005: 5:00 PM
Empire Ballroom (Omni Shoreham Hotel Washington D.C.)
Tom Dulong, UCAR/COMET, Boulder, CO; and V. C. Johnson and D. K. Cobb Jr.

Presentation PDF (445.8 kB)

The Cooperative Program for Operational Meteorology, Education and Training (COMET®) and the National Weather Service (NWS) joined forces in the fall of 2004 and spring of 2005 to develop a web-based module titled The Impact of Weather on Air Traffic Management. This module was developed in response to concerns expressed by NWS Director D.L Johnson, who identified a gap in knowledge exhibited by some NWS Center Weather Service Unit (CWSU) meteorologists about FAA operations and the National Airspace System (NAS). Considering how vastly different the cultures are of the NWS and FAA, it is no surprise that this gap existed.

The module provides instruction and exercises on the following subjects: • FAA and NWS missions and their partnership • History and structure of the FAA • Skills and knowledge of air traffic controllers • Air traffic control (ATC) and phases of flight • ATC traffic initiatives and phraseology • Weather impact on each phase of flight • What traffic managers do to minimize impact • A description of how briefings to FAA personnel can be improved through applying this new understanding

Since 911 the public and media have shown an increasing interest in aviation and the state of our national airspace system. Therefore, this module would be of great benefit to broadcasters as it illustrates how sensitive the system can be to impacts from weather and other phenomenon. Increasing the public's knowledge of how controllers work to keep the skies safe builds up confidence for anyone stepping onto a commercial flight. This will ultimately improve our country's economy. This module is free and available online at

Supplementary URL:

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