Meeting Aims of WICAP
|This expands on the summary list of the WICAP Aims and explains in some detail how they will be addressed under the programme.||
Aim 3 – Improved Process for Establishment and Maintenance of Meteorological Requirements for AMDAR Data
Aim 1 - Expanded and Enhanced Global Data Coverage
The aim to expand and enhance the global coverage of AMDAR so as to better meet WMO requirements for upper-air meteorological observations in support of improved weather forecasting and services is the primary aim of the collaboration and will be achieved through addressing and meeting the all of the aims below.
AMDAR data are produced from operational national AMDAR programmes by participating aircraft in two primary modes of observing and reporting of meteorological variables: 1) As “vertical profiles” when the aircraft is on ascent or descent at terminal national and international airports, and 2) As “en-route” data, whilst aircraft are travelling between airports in the upper troposphere at altitudes of more than 30,000 feet. This leads to a data coverage for the programme that is limited and has gaps.
The WICAP will focus primarily on introducing new airlines to the programme so as to optimally fill these gaps in data coverage from aircraft-based observations. The provision of valuable observations from areas where current observing density is low will provide the largest positive impact to meteorological Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP) models and forecasting services and products, resulting in improved, timely meteorological and weather related information for aviation, which ultimately will lead to safer and more efficient flight operations.
While the impact of temperature and wind measurements to provide meteorological information is critical for flight operations, there are compelling reasons for adding water vapor (moisture) and turbulence measurements. Moisture measurements are important for diagnosis of clouds, fog formation/dissipation, icing and potential severe weather, all of which impact flight operations. Moisture measurements are also important meteorologically to capture real-time atmospheric stability, and cloud and precipitation evolution. Likewise, there are meteorological requirements for global atmospheric turbulence estimates both en-route and near airports due to needs for modeling and verification of forecasts for turbulent transport of moisture, temperature and momentum. Furthermore, turbulence greatly impacts aviation business, especially flight planning to maximize safety.
Through the governance and operational framework established and based on high-level coordination, oversight and assistance from IATA and WMO, the WICAP will expand and enhance the AMDAR programme coverage concentrating efforts to do so in those data-sparse regions which will deliver the most impact and benefit to data users and the meteorological and aviation communities. The collaboration will seek to find efficient and optimal ways to enhance the programme, particularly focusing on efforts to extend measurement of moisture and turbulence globally.
Aim 2 - Increased Airline Participation
Based on the better defined business relationships developed under the WICAP, the processes for airlines to join and contribute to the AMDAR programme will be better defined and able to be adopted more readily and uniformly throughout the aviation industry.
The process for IATA airlines joining the programme under the WICAP will be streamlined, based on and harmonized with the improved process for establishing the requirements for AMDAR data by WMO Members. Through IATA-led promotion and education, airlines and other industry partners will better understand the benefits of participating in the programme and the technical requirements for establishing the necessary infrastructure and processes for contributing to the programme under pre-established and agreed terms and conditions that protect their data ownership. WMO and IATA will together facilitate contact and dialogue between airlines, NMHSs and WICAP operators to ensure efficient and smooth planning and implementation of new programme partnerships. Airlines will be assisted by the programme’s Oversight, Planning & Coordination Team (OPCT) and other organizational technical bodies and task teams to establish their programmes and will be reimbursed for incurred developmental and operational costs directly from the programme funds.
Aim 3 – Improved Process for Establishment and Maintenance of Meteorological Requirements for AMDAR Data
The WICAP will put in place a more formalized WMO-led process for establishing and maintaining national, regional and global requirements for aircraft-based observations and AMDAR data based on a formalised, annual process harmonized with the operation of the WMO Regional Basic Observing Network. Global requirements would be established in collaboration with the WMO technical commission responsible for observational data and infrastructure, based on consolidated regional requirements and taking into account data user requirements maintained through the WMO Rolling Review of Requirements process. Regional requirements would be managed and maintained by WMO Regional Associations , through a process in which WMO member countries would be requested to provide their ongoing and future national requirements for aircraft-based observations to a regional working group, which would then incorporate and consolidate those requirements into a regional development and operational plan for each of WMO’s six regional AMDAR Programmes. Requirements of developing countries as well as those for disaster risk reduction will be given special attention, including the establishment and utilization of other funding mechanisms to support programme development and operational costs.
Based on the established regional requirements and plans, the WICAP Oversight, Planning & Coordination Team (OPCT) would develop global plans for the development and ongoing operation of the WICAP. The plans would then be implemented through the established developmental and operational procedures and resourced from the operational and development funds.
Requirements for AMDAR data will be maintained under continuous review to assure programme outputs are fit-for-purpose and optimized with other sources of observations (e.g. other sources of aircraft-based observations, satellites, radiosonde, operational weather radars, surface-based GNSS data, etc.) in supporting WMO Application Areas.
Aim 4 – Sustained Funding of Operations and Development
The WICAP would incorporate a more robust, well-defined and simplified funding and cost structure for both the operational and developmental components of the AMDAR Programme.
The Governing Board would oversee the establishment and operation of both the AMDAR Programme Operating Fund (APOF) and the AMDAR Programme Development Fund (APDF). These funds would be contributed through several means, primarily consisting of the contributions of WMO Members to support their requirements for AMDAR observations and the development and operation of the infrastructure required to support their provision.
Aim 5 – Simplified Costing and Procurement
AMDAR data communications and other operational costs currently differ widely across the globe, mostly due to the individual development of programmes in different regions and varying financial capacities. A simpler and more equitable cost structure, acceptable to both NMHS and airline partners and taking advantage of improved and more efficient arrangements with service providers, will result in a more economic programme with fair and equitable reimbursement for airline participation.
Operating and data provision fee structure(s) would be as simple as possible and aimed at a relatively uniform global, or at least regional cost per observation that would take into account a minimum of relevant or necessary factors, for example, varying national or regional communications costs, or the requirement for sensor installation for water vapor measurement if required. A collaborative approach to the operation and funding of the Programme would potentially allow all nations to participate in the programme, with the cost structure taking into account the varying national capability to both utilize and meet the costs of their provision. These funds collected as part of WICAP, would also allow for contribution from other sources and donors that have an interest in supporting the programme’s development and operation, particularly within least developed countries and over data-sparse areas.
Under the WICAP framework, each NMHS would be responsible for meeting the operational costs for the required AMDAR profile data produced within their country or region and would contribute toward meeting the costs of global and regional en-route data. However, data reception and processing would be undertaken on a regional basis, creating efficiencies and saving costs through the collaborative funding and sharing of resources and infrastructure.
Mechanisms and funding strategies for capacity development and operational support will also be put in place to ensure that Least Developed Countries (LDC) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS) could readily contribute to and benefit from the programme.
Commercialisation of AMDAR data to private entities would be undertaken by IATA. The revenue from this would be used to offset the costs to NMHSs of the operation of the programme and to remunerate participating airlines and offset some of the cost associated with Programme implementation and data provision. IATA will retain an agreed upon percentage of the revenues from the sale of AMDAR data to offset any costs associated with commercializing the data to third parties.
Aim 6 - Well Defined Business Relationships Between Programme Partners
Within the current AMDAR Programme, business relationships between NMHSs and airlines, have evolved historically and differently based on the varying ways that national programmes have been developed and implemented and usually focused primarily on national requirements. This has resulted in heterogeneous business relationships and data policies across the globe. A more uniform approach to business relationships in the operation of the programme would result in an improved and more efficient programme development and operation, a greater willingness for airlines to participate and a greater willingness and capacity for NMHSs to support the development of new partnerships with airlines.
It is proposed to create and maintain a formal partnership between the airlines (represented by IATA) and the NMHSs (represented by the WMO). Based on this partnership, IATA and WMO will together establish a governance and agreement framework, wherein each partner will have well-defined, complementary roles and will work with the other partner on common processes and programme issues.
Under the WICAP, both IATA and WMO will contribute to the membership of the Governing Board and the Oversight, Planning & Coordination Team (OPCT). These entities would define and oversee the functions and roles of resourced Operators, which would be primarily responsible for the programme’s execution. Additionally both organizations would contribute to the establishment of ad hoc tasks teams to undertake well defined activities and tasks in support of the programme and continue to provide leadership and expertise to the programme through and from within their respective existing organizational bodies and supporting technical programmes.
Aim 7 – Improved Data Policy, Management and Security
Data ownership, management and security are critical issues for the WICAP due to the requirement to ensure the security of AMDAR data as the property of the participating airlines. The collaboration will establish the principles underlying a more uniform data policy, together with other practices, strategy and processes for data management and security.
The agreements will clearly establish the original data ownership of the airlines, while ensuring that products derived from AMDAR data would be owned by the NMHSs. Likewise, products derived from AMDAR data by third Parties in which IATA enters a commercial relationship shall be owned by those third Parties.
Data management would be made more efficient through the establishment of a number of regional data processing and other required regional centers under the wider WIGOS framework. These Regional WIGOS Centers would be responsible for secure management and quality control of AMDAR data, ensuring its timely provision on the WIS. WMO Members would access the data from the WIS and make use of them as they do now and in accordance with the relevant WMO regulatory framework and the WMO-IATA data policy.
Non-real-time AMDAR Data would be licensed by IATA for archival in the AMDAR Global Data Centre for Aircraft-Based Observations (GDC-ABO) from which it will be accessible and used by WMO Member NMHS and research agencies, non-commercial entities and others through a formalized validation process.
Aim 8 - Increased Efficiences and Wider Integration of AMDAR in the Aviation Industry
The collaboration will take advantage of IATA’s position and prominence in the aviation industry to ensure that the programme is more widely recognized and integrated within the aviation industry. While WMO has developed functional and operational standards for AMDAR onboard software and for the management of the data by NMHSs, the programme would be advantaged and made more efficient by improved coordination with aircraft manufacturers, avionics vendors, applications developers and other related service providers, giving them a better understanding of the operation of the programme and seeking their contribution to its development through more formalized and centralized planning and implementation processes.
- The wider integration of AMDAR will be realized through measures such as:
- Ensuring that solutions for AMDAR software functionality are optimized and implemented on the most appropriate avionics systems;
- Coordinating the development of solutions for meeting requirements for provision of AMDAR data with airlines and aviation experts;
- Putting in place wider competitive tendering processes for services so as to minimize operational costs and optimize some aspects of the programme, such as data communications services and AMDAR software development; and
- Working with aircraft manufacturers to ensure that AMDAR solutions are optimally provided and available with new aircraft delivery or readily retrofitted.
Efficiencies and reduced costs associated with the development and operation of the Programme would be derived through:
- Reduced costs of AMDAR onboard software provision and implementation as a result of standardization and industry cooperation, ensuring availability of solutions for retrofit;
- Regional collaboration on data management based on standardization of data representation, alleviating the requirement for redundant and costly development of national data processing centers;
- Centralised and direct negotiation of lower data communications costs with service providers, based on wider implementation and realization of programme expansion; and
- Other costs reductions based on efficiencies derived from a collaborative approach to programme operation, including reduction in resources required for data quality monitoring and systems fault rectification.
These measures will be implemented through both ongoing and ad hoc (as-required) procedures, processes and activities put in place by the WICAP, overseen and managed by the governance and operational framework.
Aim 9 - Wider Availability and Improved Use of AMDAR
While use of AMDAR data is well-established in the meteorological community and the benefits well documented, particularly in weather forecast applications, in other areas it is not being used to its full potential.
WMO will continue to promote and ensure the use of AMDAR data in meteorological, climate and other applications areas and that it is used particularly to improve and enhance weather services and products for aviation operations.
IATA will also promote AMDAR programme participation and the benefits of the data to the aviation community while at the same time analysing and implementing operational procedures that can facilitate its wider and more active use for applications such as flight operations and flight management.
IATA will also seek to promote the use of AMDAR data by other data users, ensuring that the programme and the participating partners benefit from resources derived from any related commercial revenues.
As the AMDAR programme is enhanced globally with wider provision of water vapor and turbulence information, it is expected that the benefits and impact of its use for the relevant application areas will be correspondingly improved and acknowledged, leading to further expansion of the programme over the longer term.