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Hong Kong Observatory's Windshear System

The Hong Kong Observatory's Windshear and Turbulence alerting Service has been recognized many times in the past few years by international aviation and meteorological communities. It was once described by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in 2003 as “continues to refine techniques for detecting these (windshear and turbulence) phenomena and providing timely alerts to aircrafts approaching or departing the Hong Kong International Airport.”

In 2004, the system has widely been reported in the Bulletin of the World Meteorological Organization. Equipped with a number of advanced meteorological sensors, including a Terminal Doppler Weather Radar, a network of surface and buoy automatic weather stations, a 1st Doppler LIght Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) for windshear detection in the world, together with a sophisticated computer system, the HKO Windshear and Turbulence System (WTWS) provides 24 hours, round-the-clock continuously monitoring of the air flow changes around the Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA). Besides, it can automatically generate windshear alert for reminding pilot and air traffic controllers to ensure safety of aircrafts approaching and departing HKIA.

As WTWS is considered to be rather advanced with satisfactory performance, ICAO in its recently published Manual on Low-level Wind Shear and Turbulence (ICAO Doc 9817) particularly introduces HKO's windshear and turbulence work. The Manual is one of the most detailed ICAO's documentation focusing on windshear and turbulence and the associated alerting techniques. It also serves as an international guide for personnel conducting windshear research, taking care of operation as well as providing training.

ICAO Manual on Low-level Wind Shear and Turbulence