WICAP Purpose and Principles


Purpose and Principles

(Draft Version 4)

Purpose of Collaboration

While acknowledging the benefits of the data collected and processed within the scope of the existing WMO AMDAR Programme impacting both the meteorological community and the end-user aviation industry, and recognizing the significant resource investment of National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs), Members of WMO, in the existing AMDAR observing system and in its operations, IATA and WMO, pursuant to their Working Arrangement dated 7 July 2017, the terms of which are reiterated herein by reference, wish to further expand on the development of a business case and framework for a potential collaboration, in order to meet the future enhanced requirements for observational data through the establishment of an extension of the AMDAR Programme in a more formal and identifiable framework to be known as the WMO-IATA Collaborative AMDAR Programme (“WICAP”).

WICAP Principles

WICAP will:

     i.        Promote, encourage and facilitate participation of partner airlines in the AMDAR Programme, with a priority focus on expanding the existing programme and improving AMDAR coverage over currently data-sparse areas with the highest impact and benefits to the meteorological and aviation communities and other data users;

  1. Comply with all principles of WMO’s Legal Framework, including Resolutions and Regulations applicable to AMDAR data;

  2. Encourage and coordinate the enhancement of AMDAR through wider implementation of turbulence monitoring and water vapour measurement;

   iv.        Work with and promote the programme within the aviation industry, including equipment manufacturers, to encourage greater efficiencies in the development and deployment of AMDAR avionics, applications and related infrastructure and service costs;

    v.        Discuss and negotiate directly with aviation data service providers to derive efficiencies and more equitable arrangements for programme communications costs;

   vi.        Collaborate with Hydrological and Meteorological Equipment Industry (“HMEI”) member companies active in the WMO Aircraft Based Observations Programme (ABOP) to maximize effectiveness  through the utilization of existing commercial infrastructures; and

  1. Actively promote the programme by demonstrating the necessity for improved weather information to support the future aviation transport system, provide fuel efficiencies and reduce emissions.

WICAP Governance Structure

WICAP will be managed by its Governing Body (“GB”), a group of technical and administrative representatives from both IATA and WMO.

The GB will foresee the Implementation of the WICAP Principles of Collaboration detailed herein (the “Principles”), based on separate documents: the WICAP “Concept of Operations” and the WICAP “Implementation Plan”.

The GB will meet annually, or more often as required, to fulfill its role, by any means it deems appropriate.

IATA and WMO will each appoint a representative Co-chair to coordinate relations under WICAP who shall keep the head of his or her organization informed in accordance with the Working Arrangement.

The GB will comprise the minimum number of representatives of each organization necessary to fulfill its role and duties. IATA and WMO will have equal representation and votes.

WMO and IATA will jointly oversee the operations of the GB.

The GB will establish and maintain an Oversight, Planning and Coordination Team (OPCT) to oversee and assist in the developmental and operational processes of WICAP. The GB and the OPCT will be jointly supported and resourced as necessary and as agreed by IATA and WMO.

WICAP Operational Structure

WICAP will not initially replace the existing national and regional AMDAR programmes, but it is expected that these programmes will be offered the opportunity to migrate to WICAP, based on a decision, process and timeline that is convenient to the operators.

Participation in WICAP by WMO Regional Associations will be voluntary.

Participation in the WICAP Regional AMDAR Programme by WMO Members will be voluntary.

WICAP operations will be performed by WMO Member agencies (“WICAP Operators”) based on a regional structure of WMO Integrated Global Observing System (WIGOS) Centres, overseen and managed by WMO and its Regional Associations.

WICAP Operators and WIGOS Centres will be resourced by WICAP to support their agreed operational functions, based primarily on the finances provided by participating regional WMO Members so as to perform the operations necessary to meet national, regional and global requirements for AMDAR data from WICAP.

The GB will establish the WICAP Regional Data Processing Centres (RDPCs) operated by a WMO Member under delegated authority from its respective Regional Association (RA).

WICAP Operators will establish the contractual relationships with individual airlines, control the quality of, and securely manage, the AMDAR data received and ensure the timely provision of the AMDAR processed data on the WMO Information System (WIS). 

WICAP Legal Framework

The GB will develop and establish a legal framework specific to WICAP which would serve to properly and legally frame the contents of standard contracts including matters of intellectual property, data protection, security, confidentiality, data ownership and licensing, ownership of technical applications and equipment, property and maintenance of onboard software, restrictions to the use, manipulation and reverse engineering of data, maintaining the integrity of data,  limitation of liability, etc. In particular, the GB will oversee the development and establishment of the following agreements:

     i.        Standardized agreements between WICAP Operators and participating airlines to support reception, processing and provision of AMDAR data through the WICAP Operational Structure and the WICAP Data Policy and for use of the data by WMO Members and its Operators, and by IATA.

  1. Standardized agreements between WMO and WICAP Operators to support reception, processing, provision and management of AMDAR data in compliance with the Principles of the WICAP Data Policy, WMO Legal Framework and the WICAP Legal Framework.

  2. Standardized agreements between WICAP Operators and participating NMHSs to support the provision of required funds in accordance with the WICAP Financial Framework.

All contractual undertakings and standardized agreements between WMO, IATA, WICAP Operators and their respective members, regarding AMDAR Data, whether provided by the airlines or by the RDPCs and due to the nature of this data, will be on a “best effort” basis.

WICAP Financial Framework

The GB, in collaboration with, and within each WMO Regional Association, will oversee the following financial aspects of WICAP:

  1. Develop and establish a Financial Framework for a proposed funding and cost structure to support WICAP operations, ensuring equitable cost-sharing between participating NMHSs in each WMO Region;

  2. Establish two types of funding mechanisms, an AMDAR Programme Operating Fund (“APOF”) and an AMDAR Programme Expansion Fund (“APEF”) to facilitate cost- and resource-sharing initiatives to enhance the existing AMDAR Programme and to extend the implementation of new national and regional AMDAR Programmes;

  3. The AMDAR Programme Operating Fund (APOF) will provide resources for the ongoing operations of WICAP. The AMDAR Programme Expansion Fund (APEF) will provide for the programme’s development, expansion and enhancement.

Under WICAP, WICAP Operators will receive the required funds in the APOF to support:

  1. The ongoing air-to-ground and ground-to-ground communication costs relating to the collection of AMDAR data at WICAP RDPCs, and its subsequent provision on the WMO Information System (WIS);

  2. The infrastructure costs associated with the operation of WICAP Regional and/or Global Centres and Systems;

  3. Any additional costs, which become necessary for the on-going operation of the Regional AMDAR Programme;

  4. Contribution to the global administrative costs of WICAP.

Under WICAP, WICAP Operators will receive the required funds in the APEF to support:

  1. The equipping of participating airline aircraft with AMDAR onboard software and other infrastructure required to support the operation of WICAP and most efficiently meet the requirements for AMDAR data;

  2. Research, analysis and other related activities to support improvements to the efficiency and utility of WICAP.

The GB, WMO and WMO Regional Associations will oversee the management by the WICAP Operators of the funds of the APOF and APEF so as to meet the incremental costs only of the operation of WICAP. Any funds surplus to such requirements will be either transferred to or retained in the APEF, or else, based on the discretion and adjudication of the Regional Association, returned to the participating NMHSs or donors in a fair and equitable dispersion.

Funds for the APOF and APEF in each WMO Region will be provided by NMHSs under their agreement with the WICAP Operator for participating in WICAP, and based on the cost structure developed by the GB and the Regional Association for meeting national, regional and global requirements for AMDAR data. These funds may be supplemented from other sources, including:

  1. The provision of funds to meet requirements for AMDAR data by other data users, including other (non-meteorological) government agencies, private entities, capacity development and aid agencies, specifically approved by the GB in advance;

  2. Revenue raised by IATA through potential commercialization of AMDAR data, if feasible and with the consent of participating airlines; and

  3. Other sources as may be agreed upon by the GB as required.

WICAP Data Policy

The GB will define AMDAR Data Policy to achieve the purposes of WICAP and in accordance with the applicable WMO Legal Framework, the WICAP Legal Framework, and in consultation with participating airlines.

An authorization policy for data transfer and its associated form templates, including AMDAR Data definition, will be developed by IATA with the concurrence of the GB and participating airlines. It is envisaged that the authorization policy will allow for the release and transfer of data to third-parties, potentially including non-participating airlines, and to IATA, giving IATA the right to further commercialize under license and release it to third-parties. The terms of the data policy will be annexed to the contracts between each WICAP Operator and/or RDPC and each participating airline.

All WMO Members will be licensed and retain full rights to freely use all AMDAR data produced under WICAP and provided on the GTS in compliance with all Principles of WICAP and in compliance with WMO’s Resolutions and Regulations applicable to AMDAR data.

The ownership of original AMDAR data, as defined by the GB in the AMDAR Data Policy, will be retained by participating airlines.

WMO Members will have and retain full ownership of any meteorological products and services, as defined by the GB in the AMDAR Data Policy and as derived or developed by them, from the use of AMDAR data by NMHSs.

Access to the AMDAR data via the Global Data Centre will be in accordance with all Principles developed by WICAP and in compliance with WMO’s Legal Framework and enforced through validation processes to be developed and established by the GB.

The GB will:

  1. Develop and establish the Data Policy associated with the AMDAR data derived from WICAP and will ensure its adherence through the establishment of collaborative agreements between the WICAP partners and operational entities;

  2. Develop and implement the WICAP Legal Framework;

  3. Develop the definitions, management, treatment, use, and access to AMDAR data provided by the airlines participating in WICAP and collected by the AMDAR RDPCs;

  4. Develop the protection of the intellectual property rights of both Organizations and their respective Members;

  5. Develop the WICAP principles for secure data ownership and licensing policy, specifying the ownership by the airlines of AMDAR data and the ownership by the NMHSs of products and services derived from the use of AMDAR data;

  6. Develop, in accordance with WMO’s Resolutions and Regulations applicable to AMDAR data, improved and secured access to AMDAR data for WMO Members and affiliated and validated data users, enabling adherence to agreements with commercial airline partners that license the provision and use of their data.

WICAP Collaborative Agreement Framework

IATA and WMO will enter into a collaborative agreement to establish WICAP under the agreed Principles of WICAP and in accordance with its Concept of Operations and Implementation Plan.


IATA will:

  1. Contribute the required and agreed upon resources to the Governing Board;

  2. Contribute to the coordination and oversight of the operation of WICAP through the commitment of the required and agreed resources to the OPCT;

  3. Lead the promotion of the Programme to its member airlines and other affiliated airlines, as the case may be, including the promotion of global benefits of providing aircraft observations using AMDAR in direct response to evolving meteorological requirements;

  4. Promote the Programme to the industry at large, so that the Programme is more widely recognized and integrated within the aviation industry;

  5. Assist WMO in identifying the airlines that would best meet the requirements for the programme expansion based on the route network analysis;

  6. Work directly with participating and candidate airlines in the programme to:

a.     Educate them on the operation and benefits of the AMDAR Programme;

b.     Foster airline engagement in WICAP;

c.      Promote and facilitate the utilization of AMDAR data by the airline community. 

  1. Facilitate communication between WMO and third party providers/OEMs;

  2. Educate various aviation stakeholders on the benefits of the programme and the application of AMDAR data, and conduct workshops and webinars to encourage airlines to join the programme and implement water vapour measurement;

  3. On behalf of WICAP and subject to both the agreed Principles of WICAP (including all principle(s) of WMO’s Resolution(s) and Regulations applicable to AMDAR data of the WMO Resolution 40 (Cg-XII)) and of the participating airlines’ agreement, IATA will, where feasible, pursue commercial opportunities related to the AMDAR data for sourcing funds to assist the programme’s operation and expansion.

WMO will:

  1. Contribute the required and agreed resources to the Governing Board;

  2. Contribute to the coordination and oversight of the operation of WICAP through the commitment of the required and agreed resources to the OPCT;

  3. Actively promote WICAP with Members;

  4. Coordinate and oversee the WICAP Financial Framework established by the Governing Board;

  5. Implement and oversee the WICAP Data Policy established by the Governing Board through its maintenance as required within relevant WMO Technical regulations, and regulatory and guidance materials;

  6. Coordinate/oversee the establishment of the requirements for AMDAR data of the meteorological community through the harmonization of national requirements of WMO Members with regional requirements through WMO Regional Associations (RAs), based on both the WMO Regional Review of Requirements (RRR) process and the requirements for upper-air data under the Global Basic Observing Network (GBON) at the global level;

  7. Oversee the establishment of agreements under the Regional WIGOS Centre framework with each WICAP Operator to reinforce WICAP operations at regional levels under the WICAP Principles;

  8. Oversee the establishment of agreements between WICAP Operators and Participating WMO Members for the commitment of funds to support the operation and the expansion of the Programme under the WICAP Financial Framework.