Weather Information

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Authors: Ulf Ahlstrom, PhD.
Thomas G. Dury

Ahlstrom, U., & Dury, T. G. (2007). Weather information for en route controllers (DOT/FAA/TC-07/08). Atlantic City International Airport, NJ: Federal Aviation Administration William J. Hughes Technical Center.


In this study, a team of Engineering Research Psychologists and Subject Matter Experts reviewed weather information available at the en route controller workstation and the area of specialization. Using an analysis framework outlined by Ahlstrom (2004), we assessed how controllers use weather information during operations to highlight instances where information is missing or inadequately disseminated. To obtain feedback from the field, we conducted a survey where en route Front Line Managers (a) rated the impact on controller operations from different weather phenomena, (b) rated the frequency of use of weather information, and (c) provided suggestions for the development of future weather displays. Our review shows that en route controllers have access to a variety of weather information sources during operations. However, our review also suggests that en route controllers do not have an accurate or timely weather display for precipitation areas at their workstation. We discuss possible enhancements for future weather displays, recommend enhancements to controller precipitation displays, and suggest further research to evaluate enhancements for the dissemination of weather advisories to pilots.

Updated: May 04, 2012 11:21 AM