A recent report following the AirAsia tragedy of Flight QZ8501 revealed that officials did not pick up weather reports in person, which has been hailed as a ‘missed opportunity’ by experts.
This is not to say that AirAsia violated any aviation policies, but it has highlighted an issue that meteorologists and airline officials could have detailed potentially dangerous weather conditions in real-time.
If flight operations personnel typically receive weather reporting updates, then there is time for essential decision-making to take place, including re-routing if necessary. According to CNN, the occurrence of AirAsia flight operations staff not directly collecting weather documents is not uncommon, and weather updates are generally received by email, and not in person.
Although, according to AirAsia, there is no change in the method of receiving copies of weather information, the airline has made a change in how the information is processed by its personnel.
The tragic events of the crash are still being investigated and search efforts have been hampered by severe weather and storm conditions. Of the 162 people on board the aircraft when it downed in the Java Sea, 39 have been recovered and 16 officially identified.
Weather conditions are blamed for a high percentage of aircraft accidents and it is critical that real-time weather reporting is an advantage for airlines and operators for flight planning and enhanced decision-making. Industry messaging and support services providers realise the importance of reliable, timely delivery of aviation messaging in order to maximise efficiency throughout aircraft operations and allowing real-time decision making with the implementation of flight deck weather.