IGI Airport to get new system for better weather prediction

Even as fog monitoring and analysis at the Indira Gandhi International Airport has improved significantly this season,with very few instances of flight diversions,the Indian Meteorological Department is now in the process of acquiring an Aviation Weather Decision Support System that would help detect and predict weather hazards specific to the aviation industry and communicate minute-wise information to operational users.

Written by Geeta Gupta | New Delhi | Published:January 4, 2012 3:51 am

Even as fog monitoring and analysis at the Indira Gandhi International Airport has improved significantly this season,with very few instances of flight diversions,the Indian Meteorological Department is now in the process of acquiring an Aviation Weather Decision Support System (AWDSS) that would help detect and predict weather hazards specific to the aviation industry and communicate minute-wise information to operational users.

The present system of fog forecasting at the IGI Airport is able to study surface atmospheric observations to give predictions on fog and wind conditions twice in a day. The new system,which would be in place by next winter,would have a radiometer,a vertical wind profiler,and a terminal weather radar for minute-by-minute vertical profile of the wind movement.

“The present system is not integrated. The RVR data of Runway 28 is not even available online — despite it being the main runway. When you have very high traffic as in the case of IGI Airport,there is a need for sharp wind data not only at the surface level but also at the the glide path and other locations. Our objective is to make everything seamless — from data collection at various locations along runways and around the airport,to processing data,using the data for weather updates and warnings and communicating the information to all aviation users,” said Dr RK Jenamani,director-in-charge of the IGI Met Department.

The IMD has set its requirements and an expert company would be finalised through a tendering process by March this year to develop the system for IGIA at an approximate cost Rs 15 crore. The meteorological data under AWDSS would be collected from several sources and integrated to run a series of detection and nowcasting algorithms to be provided to the end-user interface. It will then be used for real-time air traffic control operations as well as the support of operational meteorologist’s work flow.

“So far,our system observes only the surface atmospheric readings to give data twice in a day — once in the morning and once in the evening. The new system would not only help predict the exact time of fog formation and fog lifting,together with runway variability,but also make flight landings and take-offs safer during high-density fog,” Jenamani said.

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