New procedures help optimise air traffic management over the Alps in adverse weather


Adverse weather often occurs unexpectedly and the number of thunderstorms in the Alps has been increasing over the last years. All the unforeseen flights re-routed at short notice increase the complexity in already overloaded sectors. To deal with this situation, working together and across borders, experts from 3 FABS (BLUE MED, FABCE and FABEC), namely the control centres in Karlsruhe, Munich, Padova, Vienna and Zurich, worked on how to deal with adverse weather conditions in the Alps and the impact on overflying traffic. All partners involved have signed specific Letters of Agreement on a set of new procedures to stabilise the network, to reduce the workload in overloaded ACCs/UACs and – most importantly – to increase safety under adverse weather conditions. To increase predictability, an automated data exchange has been set up and briefings are organised to agree upfront on the scenarios to be applied.

As Gaetano Longo, Head of Padova ACC, ENAV said: Bad weather operations often need a coordinated cross-border management. The Weather initiative permits an early predictability that drives to an increased operational flexibility, not only at local level but among adjacent units too.

Weather conditions cannot be changed but their consequences can be managed more effectively.

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