According to major airlines, improved use of satellite and datalink communications technology has resulted in fewer incidences of turbulence and will continue to do so as more and more airlines utilise the high-performance tools at their fingertips.
Using the latest solutions for communications and navigation, airlines and traffic control have gained a greater understanding of flying conditions resulting in better flight planning and route optimisation to circumnavigate storms and minimise ground delays.
According to the Bureau of Transportation, 36% of all delays in 2013 were weather-related. This sounds like a pretty high occurrence, but when compared with the figures of 2003, they are down by a whopping 50%.
The threat of turbulence has been a challenge to airline operators, due to its invisibility on radar or satellite charts. Meteorologists at Kansas’s Aviation Weather Centre produce global weather forecasts every six hours and are now able to predict areas of turbulence using complex weather models and informative reports from pilots and sensors on some aircraft. This enables dispatchers to re-route aircraft if necessary to avoid these areas in advance and thus preventing the chaos that could ensue in busy airspace.
Using modern aviation technology it is hoped that the numbers of injuries as a result of turbulence, which has been estimated at an average of 36 people per year since 2002, according to the FAA, will be cut dramatically as reliable solutions are maintained.
Today, communications and navigation systems are streamlining not just efficient operation in the aircraft and on the ground, but are improving the entire flight experience for the passenger.