Advanced Weather Service
Leveraging improved forecasting techniques and expanded weather data
Weather-related incidents and delays cost the airline industry billions of dollars every year. A combination of accurate forecasting and use of intuitive weather products can bring significant savings to the air transport industry. SITA’s Advanced Weather Service (part of SITA Flight Briefing) can help airlines be better prepared.
SITA’s Advanced Weather Service is a unique proposition that leverages improved forecasting techniques and expanded weather data for enhanced safety, operational benefits and reduced costs.
The service offers aircraft operators:
- Improved planning capabilities for enhanced operational efficiency
- An opportunity to reduce losses caused by weather
SITA and the UK Met Office have formed a partnership to deliver Advanced Weather Service to help airlines better prepare for inclement weather.
SITA Advanced Weather Service provides the following benefits.
- Enhanced operational efficiency through improved planning capabilities
- Reduced risk of flight safety incidents caused by inclement weather
- Improved forecasting techniques
- Reduced costs
The service has four elements:
- Interactive Graphical Service
- Automatic Briefing Chart Service
- Aircraft De-icing Forecast Service
- GraFTAF (worldwide five-day forecasts)
Interactive Graphical Service
The Interactive Graphical Service partners a dynamic and global view of all types of weather phenomena with a flight-plan route overlay. It is designed for use in flight dispatch and operations control and is accessed using SITA's Flight Briefing online Web application.
Interactive Graphical Service offers the following elements:
- Current weather
Flight-plan route overlays are shown against the latest satellite and radar views* and real-time lightning strikes. The charts also display geographical data.
- Significant weather
Based on standard significant weather (SIGWX) chart, but with the addition of flight routing and other relevant layers, including active volcanoes, forcasted hurricane and typhoon tracks.
- Forecast weather
Flight-plan route overlays are shown against selectable weather layers, such as winds and temperatures aloft and clear air turbulence.
- Airport warnings
Weather-alert warnings can be provided as a separate view in situations where operator-defined landing minima are likely to be compromised.
* Currently available in Europe only
Automatic Briefing Chart Service
The Automatic Briefing Chart Service provides flight-specific weather charts and flight-plan overlays automatically. These can be based on operator-specified rules and customized (within certain parameters) to user requirements.
As soon as a flight plan is calculated, the relevant charts are automatically added to the final briefing. The final briefing is presented via an indexed PDF document that can be transferred to a portable device.
- Significant weather
With global coverage and instant views of SIGWX events affecting the flight route; full charts can be provided – or they can be zoomed to the flight route.
- Upper air winds and temperatures
With global coverage between FL050 and FL530, displayed together or on separate charts.
Optional features include:
- Global satellite coverage fed by data from METEOSTAT, GOES-EAST, GOES-WEST and GMS. Charts can be provided either as one of 17 ICAO standard views or zoomed into a selected area
- Forecasts for significant weather, including lightning strikes (global coverage with depiction of actual lightning strikes) and tropical storm tracks, based on the Met Office model
Aircraft De-icing Forecast Service
Ice's debilitating effects on an aircraft's control services are well documented. Safety is the obvious concern, but on-time performance is also impacted.
SITA's Aircraft De-icing Forecast Service consists of six selectable components:
- Temperature chart
Showing dew point and screen temperature for the next 24 hours
- Weather type
Twenty-four-hour advance warnings, including confidence levels for occurrence of relevant weather types such as frost or snow
- Risk of icing
Easy-to-interpret, colour-coded traffic lights representing timing and severity of aircraft icing over the next 24-hour period
- Hold-over times
Quick and easy diagrammatic guide to hold-over times for customer-specified fluid types
- Five-day forecasts of likely icing conditions
Colour-coded traffic lights for each of five days ahead
- Direct access to an experienced Met Office forecaster
For further clarification and advice on current and forecasted conditions
In addition to information accessible from the Web, customers can choose to be alerted via e-mail, SMS or fax when icing conditions are expected at an airport.
Published forecasts do not currently include temperature and pressure predictions. Thus, corrective actions can be taken only on the day of operation. This can mean offloading cargo and passengers to ensure maximum permitted take-off weight is not exceeded.
Poor runway visibility can lead to severe disruption with aircraft (and passengers) out of position following diversion to another airport.
SITA's GraFTAF Service provides accurate forecasts up to five days in advance for any point on the earth's surface. Longer-range predictions of temperature, wind and pressure give operators a competitive advantage and helps them plan effectively. Accessed through a Web connection, users can see specific airports of their choice with a time-line and associated predictions of key weather phenomena expected during that period.
The GraFTAF Service forecasts five weather attributes:
- Cloud height and density
- Surface visibility
- Temperature and precipitation levels
- Surface wind speed and direction
- Mean sea-level pressure