For most people, flying is simply a means to an end. While flying, they are likely most concerned about the location of their seat than anything else. The most important part of their trip is the destination – whether they are returning home to see loved ones or arriving in an exciting location for a much-needed vacation.
If you work in the aviation industry, you understand the work and planning of each flight, both before and during the trip.
What exactly is involved in the planning and execution of flight operations, and how is it related to meteorology? Let’s look at how flight operations and aviation meteorology work together to make each flight a success and how accurate information from aviation meteorologists with DTN improves your operations’ cost and safety.
What Flight Operations Entail
The Flight Operations team has a huge responsibility. If you’ve ever landed at your destination on time and as expected, you can thank the operations team for that! There are many roles within that department, but in general, they are responsible for the following:
- Make sure all regulations and procedures are followed during the planning and operation of flights
- Respond to any potential or in-flight disruptions to maintain the scheduled program
- Create and support safe and efficient flight plans
- Provide authorities and ATC with the most up to date flight plans
- Secure all necessary flight permits, monitor aircraft performance, and fuel usage
When making route and flight plans, airlines, large or small, have many factors to consider. Of course, they want to make choices to fill their customer’s needs while also being cost-effective. They need to analyze demand and competition so they can succeed in their strategic planning.
Airlines rely on various tools and consultants to keep them informed and up to date to take care of all these aspects of flight planning and operations. One of the largest factors in flight operations is weather – and it can also be the hardest to predict.
Because of this, for decades, many airlines have seen the importance of working with an aviation meteorologist equipped with the knowledge and tools necessary to provide accurate information and advice. So what exactly is aviation meteorology?
Meteorologists are so much more than “the weather guy” or “the weather girl” on your favorite news channel! The science of meteorology is used in many industries, including aviation.
Working with a trained, specialized aviation meteorologist has proven to be priceless for many airlines, as it works towards both their company’s best interests and their customer’s.
Let’s look at an example. You book a flight with airline X because you notice that the price is affordable, and the flight time is convenient for your needs. If an unexpected travel change was necessary due to the weather, when would you like to know? When you are at home, or already arrived at the airport? The sooner, the better!
From a customer perspective, you want to receive information as early as possible to adjust your plans. If your flight plans and schedule is continually changing, you might be tempted to book your next flight with airline Y because they seem more reliable.
Now, let’s look at the importance of this for the airline itself. Imagine you receive a forecast stating that it will become necessary to cancel an upcoming flight due to incoming weather patterns.
It takes a considerable amount of effort and expenses to make these last-minute changes, in addition to the inconvenience it poses for your customers. Then, it becomes clear that the forecast you received was not reliable, and in fact, the planned flight could have continued without disruption. How frustrating would that be?
Not only does accurate meteorological information keep your customers safe, but it also bolsters your company’s bottom line.
How Aviation Meteorology Helps Flight Operations
When an airline uses a reliable aviation meteorologist, what can they expect? Here are three advantages to working with a qualified, knowledgeable meteorologist.
They Help You Determine Flight Routes and Feasibility
As you know, a lot of work goes into determining flight routes. Aviation meteorologists use extensive amounts of real-time and forecast data to help you effectively plan routes, all tailored to your origins, destinations, times, and more.
They Provide Detailed, Route-Specific Forecasts
These forecasts include detailed information on winds, turbulence, and jet streams to provide you with all the details you need to make safer decisions before takeoff and during your flight. This way, you can avoid turbulence, weather hazards, and other situations that could put your flight at risk.
They Are Available 24/7 For In-Flight Updates
Of course, planning can only help so much – there are always going to be things we can’t foresee, even when using the best forecasting tools available. When you’re in the air, you will receive in-flight updates and alerts in real-time so you can make data-driven decisions to keep your passengers safe.
Why You Should Work With Aviation Meteorologists
The evidence is there – an aviation meteorologist is an essential tool used by the aviation industry to ensure effective and safe flight operations. Small and large companies alike trust the DTN experts for their meteorological consulting needs, and so should you.
The dedicated aviation meteorology desk at DTN offers global coverage 24/7, meaning no matter where you fly or when you fly, DTN has you covered. With over 100 meteorologists on staff and the use of patented alerting technology, you can be confident that the information you receive is accurate, timely, and reliable.