Metron Aviation: At the forefront of weather delay mitigationPrint
Weather plays a role in more than 65 percent of all delays in the U.S. and 60 percent of airport delays in Europe. In the U.S., the estimated cost from weather-related delays is around $6 billion annually. From thunderstorms to blizzards to turbulence, weather is the leading cause of air transportation system inefficiencies, often wreaking havoc on passenger travel plans and driving up airline operational costs.
As technology has advanced, so has our ability to predict and mitigate weather-related phenomenon. Doing so limits the costs associated with delays and cancellations and improves passenger satisfaction. For instance, by reducing winter weather impacts, North American carriers could have saved more than $2 million USD during the past three heaviest winter storm months.
Understanding Weather Impact
Accurate weather forecasts are not enough to substantially reduce delays. Instead what is needed is a combination of technological advancements in the flight deck, airline operation centers, and among air traffic control operations. These advancements are supported by data-driven analytical tools that can:
- Predict where, when, and how weather will impede operations and for how long
- Improve timing for when operations will return to normal capacity
- Provide timely planning inputs to improve efficiency based on alternative routes not affected by weather and utilization of available capacity
Metron Aviation, the air traffic management subsidiary of Airbus Americas, Inc., provides a comprehensive toolset that includes a turbulence avoidance model, winter weather model, convection avoidance model, integrated airport capacity model, and the Network Resilience Tool. These tools can significantly reduce weather’s impact on flight delays.
By increasing situational awareness through these tools, aircraft operators, pilots, and air traffic controllers can make decisions that enhance safety, minimize delays and increase overall efficiency. This awareness will transform the way we minimize weather impacts.