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The Airport Gets Ready for This Year's Typhoon Season

Inclement weather has great impact on air traffic. To prepare air traffic controllers and airlines for the possible impact of disturbed weather to air traffic, the Observatory recently introduced a number of new products on its Aviation Meteorological Information Dissemination System (AMIDS), a system specially tailored for aviation users. Amongst the products introduced is the "Weather Summary", a product fairly well received by the user. In contrast to the Terminal Aerodrome Forecast (TAF), this text based product freed the forecaster from coding requirements and allows him to describe more precisely the weather condition, its changes and the probability of occurrence of significant weather such as crosswind and turbulence.

In the coming typhoon season, if a tropical cyclone is expected to impact air traffic, the Observatory will add a precautionary announcement to the tropical cyclone bulletin to remind passengers to check with airlines before departing for the airport. To prepare airlines for the sudden surge in manpower required to handle the enquiries, the Observatory will alert the airlines through the AMIDS and Short Message Service (SMS) prior to the inclusion of the precautionary announcement.

Apart from the above products, the Observatory also introduced a number of decision support products on AMIDS including "Significant Weather for Neighbouring Aerodromes", "Aerodromes Below Landing Minima" and "TerMET" - a product designed specifically for air traffic controllers. These products use simple graphics to represent the inclement weather which may happen in the next few hours, or to indicate the period when the weather condition at the aerodrome will drop below the landing requirements. These products are introduced to facilitate airlines and air traffic control to make the appropriate flight or human resources arrangements.

At the 27th meeting of the Liaison Group on Aviation Weather Services, participants showed keen interest on the new product “Aerodromes Below Landing Minima”. Captain P.G. Robinson (first on the back row from the left) remarked that the product was “a clever design”.