IMD provides a crucial service to the national and international civil aviation sector in fulfilment of the requirements prescribed by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and the Director General of Civil Aviation of India (DGCA).
These services are provided through 18 Aerodrome Meteorological Offices (AMO) and 54 Aeronautical Meteorological Stations (AMS) located at various national and international airports of the country.
Aerodrome Meteorological Offices functioning at Mumbai , Kolkata , Delhi and Chennai airports also serve as Meteorological Watch Offices (MWOs) catering to flights in respective Flight Information Regions (FIR). One ICAO designated Tropical Cyclone Advisory Centre (TCAC) is also functioning at New Delhi. It is this center’s responsibility to monitor the development of tropical cyclones in its area of responsibility, using geostationary and polar-orbiting satellite data, radar data and other meteorological information and provide advisory information on tropical cyclones to the Meteorological Watch Offices in India and neighbouring countries.
The technical coordination and overseeing of the functions of the aviation meteorological offices is done by Central Aviation Meteorological Division (CAMD), at DGM New Delhi, and is headed by a Scientist F.
Meteorological Training Institute (MTI), Pune takes care of the training requirements of the Aeronautical Meteorological Personnel. The installation and maintenance of Airport Meteorological Instruments are done by the DDGM (SI) at Pune. The telecommunication requirements for aviation are managed by ISSD functioning at New Delhi and by the telecommunication unit of Airport Authority of India.
The guidelines for meteorological service to aviation in India are given in “Manual on Procedures for Meteorological Services for Aviation in India” published by CAMD. It is essentially the Annex 3, incorporating national practices also. The Aviation Weather Code Book, also published by CAMD closely resembles “Manual on Codes- WMO No.306”. These two publications are updated and revised from time to time in order to incorporate all the amendments and changes by WMO and ICAO.
Meteorological Information for Aviation
The meteorological information for the use of aviation activities are:
- Current weather observations (METAR/ SPECI, MET REPORT/ SPECIAL)
- Forecasts (Terminal Aerodrome Forecast (TAF), Area/ Local Forecast, Route Forecast, Take-off and Landing (TREND) Forecast)
- Warnings (Aerodrome warnings, Warning for Light Aircrafts, Wind shear warnings, SIGMET)
- Climatology (Climatology of aerodromes, Climatological summary, Climatology of upper wind and temperature).
Responsibilities of AMOs
The following are the major responsibilities of Aerodrome Meteorological Offices:
- Preparation and/or obtaining forecasts, such as, output products of the world area forecast system WAFS), and other relevant information for flights operating from their aerodromes.
- Preparation and/or obtaining forecasts of local meteorological conditions.
- Keeping a continuous watch over the meteorological conditions over their local aerodrome as well as over other aerodromes served by their associated Aeronautical Meteorological Stations and issue necessary forecasts and warnings.
- Provision of briefing, consultation and flight documentation to flight crewmembers and/or other flight operations personnel.
- Supply of meteorological information to aeronautical users, such as, Hourly/ half hourly current weather observations and special reports, RVR observations, Landing/ take-off reports, Pressure data, Radar and Satellite Observations, SIGMETs of FIR of which the Aerodrome Meteorological Office is a part, SIGMETs of other FIRs, Air Reports (AIREP), METARs /SPECIs of other stations as appropriate, and information on Low level wind shear or turbulence.
- Display of available meteorological information.
- Exchange of meteorological information with other meteorological offices.
- Issue of landing and take-off forecasts.
- Supply of flight planning information.
- To issue aerodrome warnings for local aerodrome as well as for their associated Aeronautical Meteorological Stations.
- Supply information received on pre-eruptive volcanic activity, volcanic eruption or volcanic ash cloud to its associated air traffic services unit, aeronautical information service unit and other MWOs and AMOs.
Responsibilities of AMSs
The Aeronautical Meteorological Stations are responsible for:
- Supply to aeronautical users, of current weather observations of their own stations and those of other stations as required, by obtaining them from the stations concerned.
- Providing documentation for flights originating from their stations after obtaining the forecasts from their associated Aerodrome Meteorological Office(s).
- Supply of forecasts and warnings to aeronautical users of their aerodrome after obtaining from their associated Aerodrome Meteorological Office.
- Supply of information received on pre-eruptive volcanic activity, volcanic eruption or volcanic ash cloud to aeronautical users.
- Supply of SIGMET as and when received.
Responsibilities of MWOs
The following are the responsibilities of the Meteorological Watch Offices:
- Maintain continuous watch of meteorological conditions affecting flight operations within its Flight Information Region (FIR).
- Prepare and disseminate SIGMET and other information relating to its FIR.
- Exchange SIGMET information with other MWOs in the neighbouring countries.
- Supply SIGMET information and other meteorological information to associated air traffic services units, including SIGMET messages of other MWOs.
- Supply information received on pre-eruptive volcanic activity, a volcanic eruption and volcanic ash cloud for which a SIGMET has not already been issued to its associated Flight Information Centres (FIC)/ Area Control Centers (ACC) and to its associated VAAC.
World Area Forecast System
World Area Forecast System (WAFS) products are being utilised for briefing all the international flights. It is a worldwide system by which World Area Forecast Centers (WAFC) provide aeronautical meteorological en-route forecasts in uniform standard formats.
The briefing and documentation to the operators is provided either through manual or automated means. The web based information dissemination system known as On-line Briefing System (OLBS) of IMD is being maintained by the meteorological offices functioning at the international airports at Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai and New Delhi, through which the registered users can directly download the forecast products as desired. Apart from the primary communication channels of AAI, the department has all advanced communication modes for the dissemination of aviation meteorological information.
For further information Click here