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Real-Time Weather Info Improves Flight Safety & Comfort

Real-Time Weather Info Improves Flight Safety & Comfort

Weather has a huge impact on air travel. Just ask the passenger gripping the armrests during a bumpy flight, the pilot flying around a severe thunderstorm, or the airline dealing with schedule disruption caused by flights delayed or canceled by a winter storm.

Airlines obviously can’t control the weather. What they can do is use technology to keep an eye on the weather and use the latest forecasts to help ensure the safety, efficiency and comfort of every commercial flight.

Since the earliest days of scheduled flight, pilots have checked the latest forecasts before the takeoff. The problem is that weather is pretty fickle and just because it looks like clear skies ahead when you take off from Singapore doesn’t mean you won’t encounter some bad weather before you land in LA. For decades airlines have looked for ways to put current weather information in flight crews’ hands while they’re flying from Point A to Point B.

Now there’s a great app for that and it comes from Honeywell, a pioneer in flight safety technologies, including industry-leading onboard weather radar systems that help pilots make tactical decisions to avoid severe weather detected within a few hundred miles of their current position.

Honeywell’s Weather Information Service (WIS) delivers real-time weather forecasts to the flight crew’s electronic flight bag using a secure datalink. This lets pilots see forecasts for weather conditions beyond the reach of weather radar, all along and adjacent to their intended flight path. As a result they can make strategic decisions well in advance of any anticipated weather problems and change their flight profile to deliver the safest, most efficient and most comfortable flight possible.

Compared to the old way of doing things – in which pilots used hours-old printouts supplemented by occasional radio dispatches – the WIS saves time and work for pilots so they can concentrate on flying the aircraft. It also reduces fuel costs and helps airlines improve on-time performance, because flight crews can avoid weather delays and find the most efficient routes available.

A leading Asian airline recently subscribed to the WIS, giving its pilots accesses to a powerful weather information tool. They join fellow pilots and airlines around the world who rely on Honeywell Forge for Airlines to deliver data-driven solutions for major challenges facing their operations.