Aviation MeteorologyA Northwest Airlines Perspective Tom Fahey, Manager Meteorology American Meteorological Society - Memphis Chapter 20 September 2005 Memphis, TN
Northwest Airlines Perspective • General Introduction to NWA • NWA System Operations Control • NWA Meteorology Roles and Products
2004 NWA - Member of SkyTeam
NWASystem Operations Control SOC •Crew Coord. •Customer Svc •Flight Dispatch •Load Control •Maintenance •Meteorology •Navigation Data •Ops Planning •Ops Analysis •Perf Engineering Implement, Mitigate &/or Recover
SOC - ResponsibilitiesFocus on “Day of Operation” 2 Main Causes of Flight Schedule Disruptions • Maintenance • Weather SOC will take action based on 12hr Fcst - Not a 2 day Fcst
NWA Meteorology Roles • Support Efficiency • Support Safety • Deliver Useful Products & Services
NWA Meteorology RolesA Historical Perspective • 1985 Route Selection & Wind Fcsting • 1990Terminal Forecasting & Verification • 1995 Fcsts Supporting Stn Deicing • 2000 En Route Tstrms & Air Traffic Mgmnt • 2000 Tropical Strm Fcst Supporting Stn Ops • 1985-2005 Fcsts For Turbc Avoidance
Operational EfficiencyNWA Historical Perspective • 1980’s Flight Planning for En Route • Manual Wind Forecasts by Meteorologist • Route Selection by Meteorologist • 1990’s Terminal Area Operations • Individual Flight Focus • Currently 3 TAF’s by NWA & Rest from NWS • Mid 1990 - Current System Efficiency • CDM (Collaborative Decision Making)
CCFP (Collaborative Convective Forecast Product) • 1998 Test Lead by NWA • 1999 Operational @NWS AWC • Since 2003 Issued every 2 hrs • 2, 4, & 6 Hour Fcsts • Used by Traffic Flow Mngmnt • Collaborative Forecast • CWSU’s @ FAA ARTCC’s • Environment Canada • Airline Meteorologists • NWS AWC
CCFP CCFP Purpose: Identify En Route Airspace Impacted Significantly.
Collaborative Decision MakingTstrm Routing - Terminal Area • Flt Dispatchers & Pilots @ an Airline and Air Traffic Managers @ FAA & Airline use Fcsts & Obs to decide on routes around tstrms when departing an airport.
NWA Meteorology Products • Fcsts Supporting Safety & Efficiency • Air Traffic Management During Convection • Station Ops During Deicing • Station Ops During Tropical Activity • Clear Air &Terrain Induced Turbc Avoidance
Preflight Routing-Tstrm Avoid • Preferred Route for time & burn.
Preflight Routing-Tstrm Avoid • White Line most days. Green Line today.
Station Ops During Deicing Name this Airport: AMS ? DTW ? IND ? MEM ? MKE ? MSP ? NRT ? Meteorology Fcsts for 5 NWA hub airports - Which Ones?
Deicing Fcsts Support Efficiency • Decision Support • Staffing • Equipment Prep • Flight Thinning What Station?
Winter Weather Depiction Covers 5 Hub areas & E. Coast stns
Tropical Weather Depiction Also Issued for East Pacific (btwn Mexico & HNL), Asia Pacific & India
Clear & Mtn Wave Turbulence Avoidance • NWA’s Turbulence Plot System • Meteorologist Forecasting Procedures • Preflight Graphics & Outlooks • For Route Selection by Dispatchers • En Route Updates to Dispatchers & Pilots
. Vertical Propagating Breaking Waves 1. 700mb wind >30kts - wave develops 2. Wave begins to propagate vertically if 500mb/700mb wind ratio 1.5-2.0 & Stable layer at or near Mtn peaks 3. Heights begin packing near surface 4. Upper level waves reach tropopause & begin to break and reflect back down 5. Downslope windstorm ensues. 4. 2. Waves: Step 1 Starts @ Mt Peaks 1. 700mb 3. 5. Step 2 & 3 Develops Vertically
Mtn Wave Fcst Procedures Model Turbulence (+) Mountain top Stable layer Severe Rotor turb 2 Layers of Focus Vertically propagating Breaking mountain wave
The Turbulence Plot Messages Dispatchers’ Tool ASD • The Details • Continuous Updates • Preflight Graphics • For Pilot & Dispatcher • En Route Updates • For Dispatcher & Text for Pilot •8 Hazards Including Including Clear & Mtn Wave Turbc
Pilots’ Tool Web Wx The Turbulence Plot Messages
Safety & Efficiency • • Driven by Conditions at Airport & TAF • - TAF Ceiling & Visibility: Require Fuel for an Alternate • - Airport Congestion: Snow, Tstrms or Wind Velocity • • Driven by Conditions En Route • Air Traffic Mngmt & Congestion During Convection • Clear Air &Terrain Induced Turbce Avoidance • Convection Hazard Avoidance • Fuel Loading Decisions