Rockwell Collins launches sand, dust storms forecast for MidEast business jets

New weather mapping system will allow for business aviation operators in the Middle East to improve safety and on-time performance
Rockwell Collins launches sand, dust storms forecast for MidEast business jets
By Staff writer
Tue 13 Dec 2016 12:29 PM

Rockwell Collins has rolled out its regional sand and dust storm forecast information for business jets aimed at catering for users in the Middle East and North Africa.

The new forecast information, which is integrated into its ARINCDirect flight planning tools, will enable business aviation operators in the Middle East to improve safety and on-time performance.

“We've contracted exclusively with the Barcelona Weather Centre through our weather provider Schneider Electric to get information that allows for the better prediction of the sandstorms, or things that will lead to sandstorm happening,” said John Hardie, programme director, ARINCDirect for Rockwell Collins.

“Within 36 hours of take-off, we've got a very high definition, atmospheric projection, which is what we use for the flight planning as well, and we taking all of that information and creating a dust-storm prediction, which is the latest thing we've added.”

The Barcelona Supercomputing Centre is the host of the first World Meteorological Organisation’s regional specialised meteorological centre, which has activity specialisation on atmospheric sand and dust forecast.

The data has been used by government authorities for air quality monitoring, as well as industrial and aviation interests.

Hardie said the new technology will improve flights in and out of smaller airports in the region that cater for business aircraft.

“What business aviation is about is the ability to go from a more local airport to where you live than having to go to a major hub, and to go to a more local airport to where you want to go. This will give a wider capability for smaller airports [in the Middle East],” he said.

Hardie said Rockwell Collins has a worldwide database of topography which means “you can literally fly into an airport with no visibility”.

“We do a whole suite flight operations planning systems,” said Hardie.

“We provide a couple of thousand flight plans a day to over 4,000 business jets around the world,” he added.

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