NATCA Bookshelf

National Office Update: Oct. 28-Nov. 17, 2019

A publication of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association

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Page 23 of 29

software at the William J. Hughes Technical Center (WJHTC) and the HFWG will visit the WJHTC to evaluate and manipulate the AWD. At WJHTC, the group has access to more AWDs and is able to spend more time on the system than we previously were able to at Raytheon. However, the FAA is still lacking a full data set of weather for the team to evaluate. The current plan is to update the software and hopefully provide a full data set of weather in early December. Friends and Partners in Aviation Weather (FPAW) - The fall FPAW meeting was held Oct. 23-24 in conjunction with the National Business Aviation Association annual meeting in Las Vegas. FPAW is a group of industry, government, and academia that meet twice a year to discuss weather issues that affect the National Air Space (NAS). A variety of panels were held to discuss different impacts to the NAS. I participated on a panel along with Dr. David Strahle entitled, "The Challenges of Differing Views of Convective Weather." Dr. Strahle discussed how on-board weather radar along with radar imagery is displayed through numerous vendors. My discussion focused on how terminal and En route weather is displayed, as well as the complexities associated with weather. Military airspace, tight arrival, and departure procedures along with airspace complexities associated with each were discussed among the group. Weather Information Modernization Transition (WIMAT) Steering Committee - The WIMAT team prepared for the full team meeting scheduled in November to brief the entire team on the progress of attempting to retire text Airmen's Meteorological Information (AIRMET). The team discussed the retiring of the legacy text format, Traditional Alphanumeric Code (TAC) and is starting to prepare for how programs will handle the international standard, International Civil Aviation Organization Metrological Weather Exchange Model (IWXXM). TAC is scheduled to be replaced by IWXXM that is not designed to be read by humans, but rather interpreted by computers and presented to the user. The team also discussed the current dissemination of weather and ways to improve weather dissemination using automation. Currently, multiple people are involved with dissemination of weather to the controller's scopes and in some cases, it involves manually retyping messages into the system. Collaborative Decision Making - Weather Evaluation Team (WET) - The WET team is currently working on improving the uncertainty with forecasting stratus in San Francisco. The NWS meteorologist comes in at 5 a.m. local time and has to complete a number of tasks in the first hour before deciding which traffic management initiatives need to be implemented before the morning push departs for San Francisco. Often times, there are different views depending on the forecaster and the WET has been tasked with finding a way to improve the uncertainty associated with the forecast. The WET team is meeting at Oakland Center Dec. 10-11 to discuss this issue. Industry Turbulence Safety Action Team - A new industry and labor team was started to discuss turbulence-related injuries and ways we can improve safety. Representatives from airlines and unions gathered at American Airlines in Dallas on Nov. 6-7 to identify issues and discuss ways to mitigate injuries and improve safety. The airline industry is beginning to share turbulence data to aid NWS models and share information with each other to help improve safety. The industry is moving to the International Civil Aviation Organization standard of using Eddie Dissipation Rate (EDR) to report turbulence.

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