New system launched to help airport 'snow readiness'

Wednesday 16th Nov 2011 by theWeather Club

Image: Kazutaka Yagi

Everyone remembers the carnage wreaked upon Britain’s airports over the last two winters. The news bulletins full of angry passengers looking out over frozen runways as they sat on their luggage waiting for news of flight departures. The general theme of complaint being that ‘something must be done.’ Well it appears that something is.

The Met Office aviation experts have launched a new weather service specifically for airport operators. 'Weather Windows' is a weather based resource planning system. It enables airports to plan vital tasks, such as airport maintenance, up to 15 days ahead. The system was recently demonstrated to a select group of the aviation community at an event at Heathrow Airport, and gained general approval. The service is also designed to help airports manage both the cost and risk associated with arranging key resources such as staff, equipment and materials.

Airfield Duty Manager at Gatwick Airport, Gary Smith has been assisting the Met Office with the design of the new service and said: “I look forward to using Weather Windows as it has been specifically designed to help us plan operations effectively - much further in advance than we have been able to do before.”

So hopefully when the snow arrives this winter there will be a few less disgruntled passengers, for news crews to interview. It also hopefully means suitcases across the land can fullfill their primary function as carriers of peoples holiday gear, instead of a secondary - and increasingly popular - one of impromptu airport furniture.