Weather – Air Traffic Management Integration
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The FAA is concerned that anticipated increases in air traffic over the next 5– 15 years will result in crippling convective weather season delays. Optimizing air traffic management (ATM) to minimize delay in the complicated network environment of the National Airspace System requires integrated Weather–ATM decision support tools that explicitly consider airspace structure, network impacts, weather forecast uncertainty, and pilot preferences for weather avoidance.
A critical first step in the process of translating weather forecasts into air traffic capacity impacts is a validated model for anticipating airspace that pilots will seek to avoid.
Effective management of air traffic in congested airspace during episodes of convective weather requires decision support tools that translate weather products and forecasts into forecasts of air traffic impacts and then use those impact forecasts to suggest air traffic management strategies.
In an effort to utilize estimates of thunderstorm-induced airspace reductions to develop automated, broad-area ATM strategies, we are developing a scheduling and airspace usage model that seeks to minimize the total flight delay while taking into account both operational logistics and convective weather impacts.
RAPT is an automated decision support tool intended to help air traffic controllers and airline dispatchers determine which departure routes will be affected by operationally significant convective weather up to 90 minutes into the future.
Contemporary convective weather decision support systems can facilitate significantly improved capacity-enhancing decisions, such as keeping routes open longer and proactive rerouting, which can result in significant reductions in air traffic delays, airline operating costs, and delay-incurred passenger costs.top of page