The CAA held a successful aviation MET symposium on 31 August 2017 in Wellington. The objective was to better co-ordinate and collaborate aviation MET efforts in New Zealand to ensure what is done, and what is developed, is optimal, responsive, and sustainable. A number of the participants have defined actions to pursue and report back to the next symposium.
Copies of the various presentations and papers can be found under the heading MET Symposium 2017 under the CAA web site Meteorology pages New Zealand Meterology Symposium Aug 2017 [PDF 68 KB] and a full meeting summary:- ICAO Capacity and Efficiency - Panel Meetings(external link).
WMO Aeronautical Meteorology Scientific Conference
Held in Toulouse, November 6-10 and organised by the WMO commissions for Aeronautical Meteorology (CAeM), for Atmospheric Science (CAS) and for Basic Systems (CBS), in conjunction with the French aviation meteorological service provider, Meteo-France.
Participants from New Zealand were MetService’s Manager Aviation Weather Services Paula Acethorp and Senior Scientist Cory Davis (unfortunately no-one from CAA was able to attend). The conference was well attended by scientists focusing on many aspects of aviation meteorology, as well as those from operational forecasting centres, the ATM industry and airports, IATA and IFALPA, and also from companies such as AirBus, Thales and Selex ES.
The content of the conference was largely driven by the meteorological requirements of ICAO’s Global Air Navigation Plan (GANP), and its constituent Aviation System Block Upgrades (ASBUs). There was emphasis on seamlessness, (gate-to-gate), very high resolution nowcasting around the aerodrome to global NWP forecasts en-route, and the translation of MET information to the respective user domains (air traffic management, pilots, airlines). There was also a session dedicated to the impact of climate change on aviation, where research is suggesting that the frequency of extreme turbulence events will increase.
The conference was very successful, with outcomes emphasising the importance for conveying uncertainty in forecasts to the users, the need to accelerate the transition of forecasting and observing techniques from research into operations and that the need for collaboration between research, operations and industry should be actively encouraged as an enabler to future global interoperability and harmonisation.
A link to the final Report will be provided in due course.
MET Panel Updates
Various working group and key work stream updates reported:
Space Weather (pivotal support to GNSS based PBN/TBO operations and HF communication)
The WMO has started the capability and capacity assessment of States wishing to provide space weather data within the global space weather system. New Zealand will not have a role in the system other than ensuring operators are able to receive the various types of warnings.
It is being recommended there should initially be 4 PSW centres.
An ICAO Space Weather Manual is nearing completion - excellent reference for understanding the operational and scientific issues as well as the warning products to be provided from late 2019.
The use of a simple cylinder, of diameter 30km to FL999, to denote an area of radioactive material (released accidentally or otherwise) has been reaffirmed. Hence the SIGMET will state the time and location of the release with the cylinder of airspace centred on the location.
Currently New Zealand has filed a difference in that it does not issue such SIGMET. While this will change soon, it is hoped such a message will not be needed!
Recent operator concerns at the incorrect use and supply of QNH resulted in a CAA review of the situation. An article covering these matters was published in the November/December Vector. It outlined who can provide QNH, and how it must be used. Some aerodromes are stating that a QNH is supplied when it is not and some pilots are incorrectly using remote QNH including when it is not permitted.
Work has been initiated to correct various aerodrome charts in the AIP – replacing incorrect QNH availability statements with a statement advising the use of the Remote QNH Procedure.
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. Watch for further information.
Graphical SIG Weather
There is also to be a MetService graphical significant weather product to depict expected areas of moderate icing, CB, turbulence etc. This product will eventually replace the current textual SGWX product and be provide for various flight level bands, including surface to FL100. Operators should continue to monitor SIGMET and Graphical SIGMET for expected severe phenomena. Watch for further information.
MetService SMS certification
In early November MetService successfully underwent its SMS evaluation by the CAA’s new SMS crew. MetService is probably one of very few aviation meteorological organisations that have implement the ICAO SMS systems.
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.