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Environment and Meteorology for ATM

Proposals may investigate innovative operational changes to ATM aiming at reducing the environmental impact from aviation. These activates should considered different aspects of environmental impact, e.g. climate impact through CO2 and other emissions, local air quality and noise and the effect this will have in the context of global and/or long-term phenomena such as climate change, global warming, and changes in the frequency and severity of extreme weather or ash-cloud formation on ATM operations.

Also proposals may research to secure the proper integration of existing and possible new meteorological products into ATM for example to reduce the vulnerability of the ATM system to local weather phenomena and to improve the prediction of 4D Trajectories and network forward planning to enable a minimisation of consequential weather-related delays.

Research activities may focus on the development of a concept for using very high-resolution, very short-range forecasts using numerical weather prediction models and observational data assimilation, and assess the need of new MET data/products. The incorporation of ensemble weather information into decision-support tools, adapted for different ATM stakeholders may also to be investigated.

With respect to the local (airport) operations, the accurate prediction of weather conditions (e.g. visibility, glide-path wind) influencing airport arrival and departure operations along with a consolidated climate risk assessment methodology may be investigated.

This topic is linked to ACARE Challenge 3.

Air traffic management has an important role to play in reducing the environmental impact of aviation, in addition to the improvements to be derived from new aircraft and engine technologies. Research is needed to better understand the ways in which ATM can help reduce the impact of aviation on the environment, considering not only fuel burn but other aspects such as CO and NOx and contrails.

Also, over the last few years important improvements in observational (e.g. satellites, LIDARs) and numerical weather prediction (NWP) models in the atmospheric sciences have taken place leading to improved meteorological products, however they are not in systematic use by ATM actors. Increasingly weather is becoming a significant causal factor for delay, in the Network Operations Report for 2017 (issued by the Network Manager) it is stated “A great number of en-route weather events combined with capacity and staffing issues in some ACCs accounted for much of the delay in 2017. En-route weather delay increased by 30% compared to 2016 and was the double of 2015 weather delay. Airport ATFM delay decreased by 3.6% in 2017. Airport capacity and weather contributed to 83.9% of the total airport delays”. Global and/or long-term phenomena such as climate change, the frequency and severity of extreme weather may even further increase this effect in the future.

The environmental research should enhance the understanding of how the environmental impacts of ATM operations can be reduced during different phases of flight.

The Meteorological research should contribute to enhance ATM efficiency by integrating meteorological information and by leading to a better understanding of the resilience of the ATM system to local weather and global and/or long-term phenomena to better manage consequential delays in the Network.