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Meteorological Information Downlink and Uplink

The Hong Kong Observatory (HKO) successfully received meteorological data measured onboard a Boeing 747 aircraft of the Cathay Pacific Airways (CPA) on 21 November 2003 as a trial on downlinking weather information from aircraft to HKO began. This is part of a global programme under the World Meteorological Organization called Aircraft Meteorological DAta Relay (AMDAR) for direct transmission of weather data from aircraft to weather centres. Some 300 meteorological observations from aircraft are now received daily, providing useful weather information particularly those over the data-sparse sea areas.

Figure. First set of meteorological data received at the Hong Kong Observatory from a CPA flight that flew from Hong Kong to Manila in the morning of 21 November 2003.

To facilitate the development of meteorological products for uplinking to the airplane cockpit, HKO is conducting a survey to solicit views from pilots using the Hong Kong International Airport. A web page has been set up to enable pilots to file their returns on-line:

Questionnaires will also be made available to pilots via their airline companies. Pilots are encouraged to provide their views to HKO to facilitate further development of weather products to suit the need of the pilots. The deadline for submitting returns is 15 March 2004.