Iata and The Weather Company join forces to enhance turbulence data for airlines

The International Air Transport Association (Iata) and The Weather Company have partnered to improve flight safety and efficiency with enhanced turbulence data. Iata will be expanding the transmission of its Turbulence Aware data for use within industry-leading aviation solutions by The Weather Company, which serves a majority of North American commercial airlines and many others globally.
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With this enhancement, participating airlines can now access Eddy Dissipation Rate (EDR) turbulence data directly through Fusion and Pilotbrief tools by The Weather Company. Iata Turbulence Aware will be enabled as an additional data layer within these tools, allowing pilots, dispatchers and flight planners to have needed turbulence observations integrated directly into their mission-critical applications in one place rather than relying on multiple screens.

Mitigating the impacts of weather and turbulence

Turbulence can impact crew and passenger safety, route planning, arrival and departure times, customer satisfaction, equipment maintenance and more.

Accessing real-time, accurate turbulence information enables pilots and dispatchers to choose optimal flight paths, avoid turbulence and fly at optimum levels to maximise fuel efficiency and thereby reduce CO2 emissions. The data tool, which was launched in 2018, helps airlines mitigate the impact of turbulence, which is a leading cause of passenger and crew injuries and higher fuel costs each year.

The platform pools anonymised EDR turbulence data from thousands of flights operated by participating airlines. EDR is the official ICAO and WMO atmospheric turbulence intensity metric.

"As the weather grows more impactful due to a changing climate, it’s critical now more than ever for aviation leaders to incorporate accurate, real-time, globally scaled weather data and insights within decisions," says Ravi Vanmali, head of aviation for The Weather Company. "Reliable weather data and forecasts, combined with human expertise, can help airlines and pilots plan around inclement weather and turbulence, improve crew and passenger safety, and mitigate impact to the bottom line."

"We aim to make access to turbulence-related data as simple as possible. By collaborating with The Weather Company, Iata Turbulence Aware data will be available to pilots and dispatchers through existing flight deck and flight planning applications and tools, enhancing the decision-making process in turbulence mitigation and avoidance," said Frederic Leger, Iata’s senior vice president commercial products and services.

Managing turbulence is expected to remain challenging, as climate change continues to impact weather patterns. This has implications for both safety and efficiency of flight. At present, 21 airlines participate in the Iata Turbulence Aware platform with more than 2,000 aircraft providing data daily. In 2023, a total of over 380 million turbulence observations were generated.

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