Single GA Portal
We are pleased to advise that the single GA portal for NOTAM, aerodrome, and MET information within the Airways IFIS system has been operational since December. Our thanks to Airways and MetService for getting this project completed in time for use over the busy summer flying season.
Work will continue to find a way of providing graphical MET information over the same platform. In the meantime, the full suite of MET information remains available on MetFlight-GA.
MET Access In-flight
Recently CAA Legal confirmed that GA pilots operating VFR can legally access MET information using their cellular/data tablet devices in-flight (MetFlight, IFIS etc). This legal view was sought to clarify a level of misunderstanding in the GA community. Note that this is not the case with any form of IFR operation - cellular/data tablet devices cannot be use in-flight as part of the operation of the aircraft.
Australasian MET Authorities Meeting
In December 2016 the CAA hosted the first of an expected on-going series of collaborative meetings with the Australian MET Authority. The meeting, also attended by MetService, proved valuable with both parties undertaking good actions from the meeting. Generally speaking, the following was covered:
Regulation, compliance, and promotion.
ICAO interaction and responsibilities.
Domestic operations - successes and challenges.
New Zealand automatic instrumentation (METAR AUTO etc).
Fiji CAA and MET Service
In November the CAA undertook on behalf of the Fijian CAA, a review of the Fiji MET Service with regard to Part 174, Meteorological Services adopted by Fiji. This project proved invaluable in building good relations with both Fiji CAA and Fiji Met Service and we look forward to a good ongoing collaborative relationship with both.
Tonga Met Service
On Boxing day, the CAA was contacted by the Tonga Met Service to explain that the large plume probably visible in satellite imagery was not a volcanic eruption but a very large fire at the main rubbish dump on Tongatapu. This information was passed on the MetService VAAC here in Wellington. The communication is a welcome example of the way Pacific Island States are becoming more comfortable in regional MET development and operational communications.
Graphical GA Weather Product
CAA continues to work with MetService in the development of a graphical low level significant weather product that would consolidate the current ARFOR information into a graphical low level significant weather forecast over the whole country up to 10,000ft.
CAA continues to work with MetService as they implement their alternate aviation MET production site in Auckland. Aviation MET production shifts from their new production centre are underway, although this is not easily transparent to the user should they be interested.
MET Liaison Meeting
The CAA is planning to hold a meeting of all parties with MET interests later this year in Wellington (Airlines, GA, MetService, Airways, MoT, CAA etc). The objective will be to provide respective briefings on critical local and international MET developments, identify challenges, and agree appropriate work programmes. It is envisaged that this meeting would become an annual event.
CAA is currently well down the track in the process of reviewing the MET syllabi for PPL, CPL and ATPL. The proposals are currently on the CAA web site for public comment. These close 25th January, with expected implementation toward the end of 2017.
The ICAO MET Panel had its second full meeting in October 2016. A thumbnail view on the outcomes:
(pivotal support of PBN/TBO operations)
Completed Concept of Operations, and functional and performance requirements for global space weather information,
Completed draft Standards and Recommended practices (SARPs) under ICAO Annex 3, and consequential amendments, to establish the ICAO global space weather information service, and
Completed criteria and process to select provider(s) of ICAO global space weather information capability (with assistance of World Meteorological Organisation - WMO).
(Covers both accidental and planned/aggressive release of radioactive material)
Completed draft SARP for Annex 3 for the provision of a cylinder-shaped SIGMET (to describe areas affected by the release of radioactive material), and
Completed amendments to current guidance material.
(Consolidation of IAVW system)
Completed revision of Volcanic Ash Roadmap, and
Inclusion of development plans for the introduction of Sulphur-Dioxide (SO2) warnings.
XML/GML Met information formats
(transition to data-centric approach to MET)
Completed Guidelines for the Implementation of OPMET Data Exchange using IWXXM;
Inclusion of Status indicators and Translation Centre information in IWXXM messages;
New provisions for IWXXM (standard in 2020); and
Draft global MET-SWIM Plan and Roadmap.
(operational management of global MET systems)
Successfully transitioned the existing operations groups (WAFSOPSG, SADISOPSG and IAVWOPSG) into the METP Working Group on Operations;
Provision of reference data for visualising WAFS gridded forecasts of cumulonimbus cloud, icing and turbulence;
Creating WAFS Medium Level Strategy for ASBU Block 1 (2018- 2023);
Ceased Satellite element of SADIS service on 31st July 2016 and assisted States transition to the Internet based component of the service; and
Extended the area of responsibility of VAAC Tokyo (now have global coverage from the 9 VAACs).
Hazardous Weather Information
Reports were received on the work being done on the development of regional hazardous weather information systems.
Current thinking is that a new global system of hazardous weather information generated on a regional basis (rather than and FIR basis) will better meet user needs.
Cost Recovery and Governance
Accepted initial draft White Paper the future delivery of MET information to international aviation (out to 2035) – consequential re-draft due in March 2017