The recording and delivery of reliable aviation weather data is a critical component in maintaining safety in the skies. Adverse weather is one of the major contributors to aviation accidents on a global scale. But where does the data come from?
All over the world, weather stations are continuously monitoring and recording weather data consisting of temperatures to cloud cover and everything in between. These stations are called Automated Surface Observing Systems. Supercomputers take this data and use equations and calculations to enable weather forecasting.
The aviation weather data readings must be accurate and as fresh as possible to facilitate swift decision-making, flight planning and scheduling. The FAA issues coded messaging to airports, air traffic services and other authorities with numbered data to ascertain the source of the aviation weather data. Currently, there are 5,431 stations recognised by the FAA.
Timely delivery of aviation weather data is managed by ATS via airline data link, radio communications and often via satellite. Using ACARS, HFDL and CPDLC communications, aviation weather data keeps the safety of all aircraft as a priority. State-of-the-art technology in aviation today can mean that via type b messaging capability, aviation weather data can be accessed and delivered within a second.