A new definition of the Aeronautical Meteorology Programme was adopted by 17th WMO Congress (May-June 2015) (see Annex to paragraph 3.1(2).21 of the general summary).
1. Historical background
As stated in the Convention, one of the purposes of the WMO is “to further the application of meteorology to aviation”. To pursue this goal, WMO had established the Aeronautical Meteorology Programme (AeMP) to mainstream the activities of the Organization related to aviation and to ensure effective coordination with partners, including the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
International cooperation in aeronautical meteorology can be dated back to the International Meteorological Organization (IMO) years. The Commission for the Application of Meteorology to Air Navigation (CAMAN) was established by the Paris Conference of Directors (CD) of the IMO as early as 1919. In 1935, CAMAN was replaced by a new International Commission for Aeronautical Meteorology (ICAeM) consisting of members appointed by governments in order that it could work effectively with the International Commission for Air Navigation (ICAN) – the predecessor of ICAO. Thus, ICAeM became the first intergovernmental body in meteorology and its experience influenced the transformation of IMO after World War II into the intergovernmental World Meteorological Organization (WMO). In 1951, the First Congress of WMO established Technical Commissions including the Commission for Aeronautical Meteorology (CAeM) on the basis of the ICAeM.
2. Main long-term objectives
The main long-term objectives of the Aeronautical Meteorology Programme are:
- To contribute to a globally harmonized meteorological service to the international air navigation meeting the requirements of the aviation users for meteorological information and services and contributing to safety, efficiency and regularity of aviation transport;
- To support the continuous improvement of the meteorological service to aviation through coordinating the underpinning science and technology activities and their transfer to operational practice;
- To achieve the highest possible level of compliance of the WMO Members with the technical regulations, standard and recommended practices established by WMO and ICAO for the provision of aeronautical meteorological service;
- To promote effective and efficient services through international cooperation;
- To contribute to the assessment of the linkages between the aviation and environment including the impacts of the climate change and variation on future aviation operations;
- To establish globally agreed requirements for the qualification and competence of the aeronautical meteorological personnel as part of the quality management system (QMS) for the provision of aeronautical meteorological services.
3. Purpose and scope
The aeronautical meteorology services are governed jointly by the ICAO and WMO as “sister” UN agencies with the common goal of establishing a global regulatory framework that provides the basis for the Member countries to establish their national service provision programmes in a highly coordinated and interoperable manner. Therefore, the main purpose of the AeMP is to coordinate all WMO activities related to aeronautical meteorology and to ensure an effective liaison with ICAO. To this end, WMO and ICAO established working arrangements specifying the roles and responsibilities of the two Organizations in order to ensure the efficiency of the joined work and avoid duplication of resources. The AeMP supports the major WMO role in the development of the meteorological techniques and practices for the provision of services, based on the identified user requirements as coordinated and conveyed by ICAO. The AeMP coordinates with other WMO Programmes on all matters related to aeronautical meteorology, including: the basic meteorological networks and facilities required for effective provision of meteorological service to international air navigation; setting standards on aeronautical climatological information; responsibility for the definition of aeronautical meteorological personnel qualification and competency standards; and the advancement of science and technology in support of the ever growing demand for interoperable, fit-for-purpose, quality information and services by the aviation transport sector.
The AeMP plays a major role in providing targeted assistance to Members, particularly in developing and least developed countries, to develop their capacity to meet the international requirements for quality, competency and performance of the aeronautical meteorological service. The governance and partnership element of the programme provides guidance material, exchange of best practice models, documentation and training to Members in providing services to the required standards. In this regard, the AeMP promotes the establishment of fair, equitable and transparent cost-recovery mechanisms needed for a sustainable and high quality aeronautical meteorological service.
A major task for the AeMP is to ensure the effective coordination of the WMO in following up the recommendations of the Conjoint ICAO/WMO MET Divisional Meeting (MET DIV 2014). To that end, the scope of the AeMP has necessarily been expanded to coordinate the meteorological aspects of the ICAO Global Air Navigation Plan (GANP) and its Aviation System Block Upgrades (ASBU) methodology. The GANP will cover the broad spectrum of institutional, regulatory, technological and operational aspects of the envisaged performance improvements in support of the “One Sky” global ATM concept with a horizon of the year 2028 and beyond. Among these aspects are the integration of the meteorological information in the System-Wide Information Management (SWIM), the enhancement of the international facilities like the World Area Forecast System (WAFS) and the International Airways Volcano Watch (IAVW), and the development of new generation of services, to support safe, effective and efficient Air Traffic Management (ATM), Trajectory Based Operations (TBO) and to mitigate the impacts of the “space weather”. The Meteorology Divisional Meeting (2014) also recommended that the AeMP should investigate the impacts of climate change and variability on global aviation operations.
4. Governance and work structure
The constituent body providing technical guidance to the AeMP is the Commission for Aeronautical Meteorology (CAeM). The sixteenth session of CAeM established a new structure including a Management Group (CAeM-MG) and the following priority theme areas:
- Education, training and competency of aeronautical meteorological personnel (AMP);
- Aeronautical meteorological information service and governance;
- Aeronautical meteorological hazards prediction;
- Impacts of climate change and variability on aviation;
- Communication and outreach.
The work of CAeM and its subsidiary bodies is supported by the AEM Division in the Secretariat, which is part of the Weather and Disaster Risk Reduction Services (WDS) Department.
5. Programme priorities for the intersessional period 2016–2019
CAeM-15 (July 2014), in considering the GANP and ASBU timeline covering the period to 2028 and beyond, recommended to Congress to endorse a long-term planning approach to support aeronautical meteorology as a WMO strategic priority. Such an approach will allow the AeMP to provide a level of coordination that is consistent with ICAO ASBU planning and implementation roadmaps.
The CAeM Technical Conference “Aviation Meteorology – Building Blocks for the Future” (Montreal, Canada, July 2014) collated Members’ support for the AeMP to play an important role in guiding Members’ activities in the following priority areas:
- Evolving global air traffic management (ATM) and related meteorology (MET) support
- Raising Members’ awareness of the GANP and ASBU, their MET components and timelines, and associated institutional and regulatory impacts;
- Integration of WMO-related aspects of MET information management to ensure interoperability and compliance with ICAO System-Wide Information Management (SWIM);
- Support ICAO in the development of provisions for operational space weather services for international air navigation;
- Support further development of the WAFS, IAVW, and the services for nuclear and chemical emergencies based on the concepts of operation and roadmaps endorsed by MET Divisional Meeting 2014;
- Investigate the impacts of climate change and variability on global aviation operations and associated provision of services to respond to these.
- Enhanced compliance with ICAO and WMO regulations
- Continued assistance to Members in implementing and sustaining QMS for the provision of aeronautical meteorological services;
- Guide the implementation of competency and qualification standards for Aeronautical Meteorological Personnel through further development of appropriate guidance material and learning opportunities;
- Assist Members in the development of cost-recovery mechanisms, in particular in the developing and least developed countries;
- Promote a culture of quality and continuous improvement for all aspects of aviation MET service provision.
- Enhanced governance and partnership
- Develop further governance guidance for Members to respond to the envisaged institutional changes to the service delivery and business models and address related cost-recovery aspects;
- Assist Members to keep pace with the global and regional developments – work on scalable solutions with inclusiveness principle to ensure sustainability of basic infrastructures;
- Promote improved communication, engagement and collaboration with aviation stakeholders;
- Promote efficiency and effectiveness through regional cooperation in providing meteorological service to international air navigation;
- Develop appropriate risk assessment methodology to assist Members in their national planning aligned with the ASBU timelines.