Estimating the likelihood of success in departure management strategies during convective weather
October 16, 2011
The presence of convective weather (thunderstorms) in terminal and nearby en route airspace of major metroplex areas can have significant impacts on departure operations. Traffic on departure routes impacted by convective weather may be constrained by miles-in-trail (MIT) restrictions, to allow controllers the time needed to maneuver individual flights around thunderstorms that pilots wish to avoid. When the workload required to manage traffic flows becomes too great, departure routes may be closed. Departures still on the ground that are filed on closed or restricted routes may face significant delays as they wait for clearance on their filed route, or for a viable reroute to be implemented. The solution proposed in concepts such as the Integrated Departure Route Planning tool (IDRP)  is the use of weather and departure demand forecasts to plan and implement reroutes to avoid weather and volume congestion proactively, well in advance of route restrictions or closures.