The AMS Policy Program Study Series
Underwriters: ITT, Raytheon & Lockheed Martin
The Office of the Federal Coordinator for Meteorology/National Space Weather Program &
Ball Aerospace and Technologies
Integrating Space Weather Observations
into Aviation Operations Workshop
AMS and SolarMetrics were awarded a three year NSF grant in 2005 to study policy issues in integrating space weather observations and forecasts into aviation operations. The goal of this project is to conduct policy research leading to recommendations that will increase the safety, reliability, and efficiency of the nation’s civil aviation operations through more effective use of space weather forecasts and information. While space weather and aviation are both international issues, this study focuses on a U.S. perspective, taking into consideration international frameworks for aviation safety and operations.
This work will characterize the present and near-term potential in applying space weather information to improve the safety and efficiency of the aviation system. It will discuss public and industrial development of strategies and plans to effectively respond to space weather information. The study will also examine policy issues in implementing effective application of space weather services to the management of the nation’s aviation system and the associated tradeoffs (e.g., use of forecasts, changes in regulatory framework, and level of acceptable risk).
Major activities for year one included background research of the policy issues, discussion with relevant aviation and space weather leaders, interviews with key representatives, and outreach. Emerging policy issues fell into four categories: communication, standardization of information and regulations, education and training, and cost benefit analysis. Year two activities included organizing a workshop, writing a report and other publications, developing an implementation plan, and assisting stakeholders in implementing the recommendations. Year three activities will focus on outreach and education of the policy issues and continued collaboration with stakeholders in implementing the recommendations.
AMS and SolarMetrics, in coordination with the FAA, NOAA/SEC, NSF, and NextGen/JPDO, organized a workshop on November 29-30, 2006 in Washington DC that led to recommendations on how to improve the safety and operations of the nation’s aviation system through better integration of space weather information. Participants represented the aviation community, federal government, and the space weather community.
Objectives of workshop:
- Bring together representatives of the aviation industry, space weather information providers, and government officials to discuss the development of space weather information and operational needs
- Identify how space weather information can be better applied to aviation operations to reduce impacts and maintain flight safety
- Discuss opportunities and policies to mitigate risk and allow for the application of space weather information to aviation operations
- Develop findings, policy options, and recommendations that foster a global seamless transfer of space weather information to aviation operations.
The workshop consisted of a series of background presentations followed by four working sessions, each designed to answer the focus questions and develop a set of findings and recommendations. These four sessions were based on the main policy issues that emerged from the interviews (communication, standardization, education and training, and cost benefit analysis). The workshop concluded with a final discussion among all participants on the findings and recommendations that are included in the report.