From minutes to days: Seamless prediction of airspace capacity degradation for air traffic management

Publikation aus Digital

Martin Steinheimer and Gerardus Croonen and Harald Ganster, Karin Hennermann and Rudolf Kaltenböck and Markus Kerschbaum and Gregor Löscher and Juliane Petsch and Martina Uray

The World Weather Open Science Conference, WWOSC 2014 , 1/2014


Deep convection has high impact on flight safety and air traffic management (ATM) efficiency. Particularly organised convection (e.g. squall lines) leads to significant reduction of available airspace for air traffic. In addition isolated cells located at airports or on approach routes significantly reduce airspace capacity and affect ground handling. Complementary to mandatory aviation warning products a deep convection forecast product is operationally provided aiming to support operational decision making and strategic planning of ATM. The horizontal distribution of deep convection is forecasted for each air space sector as a measure of impact on air traffic capacity. The forecast range covers up to three hours for the approach sectors and up to six hours for the area control centre sectors. The operational product is manually generated by forecasters. A refined product incorporates input from automatic nowcasting and numerical weather prediction systems. This facilitates increased spatial and temporal coverage. Newly developed forecaster intervention tools allow manual modification of the automatic forecasts to improve the results. This way also a smooth transition between the nowcasting and longer range forecasting system results can be ensured. The product is designed to provide the relevant meteorological information in an easily and quickly perceivable way to ATM experts without meteorological background for lead times from several minutes up to several days. This is achieved by using simple pictograms in combination with clear color-codes on geographical maps.