Turbulence free flights for passengers with IATA’s newly launched Turbulence Aware data platform

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Dec 13, 2018: The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has come up with the first global, real-time, detailed and objective information for pilots and operations professionals to manage turbulence. This platform augments an airline’s ability to forecast and avoid turbulence by pooling and sharing (in real time) turbulence data generated by participating airlines.

With Turbulence Aware data resource, airlines can avoid turbulence when planning routes tactically in flight.

According to industry body IATA, “The challenge of managing turbulence is expected to grow as climate change continues to impact weather patterns. This has implications for both safety and efficiency of flight.”

Turbulence is the leading cause of injuries to passengers and crew in non-fatal accidents (according to the FAA).

Over the years, airlines have relied upon pilot reports and weather advisories to mitigate the impact of turbulence on their operations.

But these tools have their own limitations due to the fragmentation of the data sources, inconsistencies in the level and quality of information available, and the locational imprecision and the subjectivity of the observations.

Turbulence Aware improves on the industry’s capabilities by collecting data from multiple contributing airlines, followed by a rigorous quality control. Then the data is consolidated into a single, anonymized, objective source database which is accessible to participants. Turbulence Aware data is turned into actionable information when fed into an airline’s dispatch or airborne alerting systems.

Turbulence Aware is already generating significant interest among airlines. Delta Air Lines, United Airlines and Aer Lingus have signed contracts; Delta is already contributing their data to the programme.

“Using Turbulence Aware in conjunction with Delta’s proprietary Flight Weather Viewer app is expected to build on the significant reductions we’ve seen already to both turbulence-related crew injuries and carbon emissions year-over-year,” said Jim Graham, Delta’s senior vice president of Flight Operations.

The first operational version of the platform will be developed by end of 2018.  Operational trials will run throughout 2019, with ongoing feedback collection from participating airlines.  The final product will be launched in early 2020. 

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