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Survey on Pilot's Requirements on Meteorological Information Uplink

To solicit views from the pilots in respect of their requirements on the uplinking of meteorological information to cockpit, the Hong Kong Observatory (HKO) conducted a survey from 1 February to 15 March 2004. A total of 66 returns were received from pilots. A brief summary of the survey results is presented below:

(a) A majority of aircraft that the pilots fly is already equipped with datalink facilities, such as Aircraft Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS) and Controller-Pilot Data Link Communications (CPDLC);

(b) Most pilots considered that the existing meteorological products and services provided by HKO are acceptable to them;

(c) Pilots considered it desirable to have information on aerodrome weather, windshear and turbulence alerts, and SIGMET updated frequently at intervals of 1 hour or less. As to wind/temperature forecast and SIGWX forecast, the desirable update frequency are longer, i.e. at intervals of 1 to 6 hours; and

(d) Based on the priority indicated by pilots, the first five most needed meteorological information/products for uplink to the cockpit are (Fig.1):

          (i) Windshear and turbulence alerts;
          (ii) Radar images;
          (iii) Satellite images;
          (iv) Runway weather observations;
          (v) TAF/Landing Forecast.

Windshear/turbulence alerts, Runway weather and TAF/Landing Forecast are already made available to cockpit via datalink services such as D-ATIS and D-VOLMET. Feasibility to enhance datalink services to provide more up-to-the-minute information to facilitate cockpit operation will be explored. New services for the uplinking of satellite and radar images will also be studied.

Chart showing the priority of the first 10 most needed meteorological information/products for uplinking to cockpit