The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has launched a data tool that will help airlines collaborate in real-time during flights to avoid turbulence.
Turbulence Aware augments an airline’s ability to forecast and avoid turbulence by pooling and sharing turbulence data generated by participating airlines as it happens.
Until now, airlines have relied on pilots and weather advisories to battle turbulence and its impact on flight operations, but such tools have limitations due to inconsistencies in the level and quality of information available.
Pilots have no standardized scale available to them when reporting an incident, other than 'light', 'moderate' or 'severe', but this is highly subjective due to pilot experience and aircraft size.
Turbulence Aware is a great example of the potential for digital transformation in the airline industry
Turbulence Aware will instead collect data from multiple contributing airlines—under rigorous quality control—before consolidating the information into a single, anonymized, objective source database which is accessible to participants.
The data is then turned into actionable information when fed into an airline’s dispatch or airborne alerting systems. It is the first global, real-time, detailed and objective information for pilots and operations professionals to manage turbulence.
Airlines have already shown significant interest, with Delta Air Lines, United Airlines and Aer Lingus already signed up. Delta has already begun contributing their data to the program.
“Turbulence Aware is a great example of the potential for digital transformation in the airline industry,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.
“The airline industry has always cooperated on safety—its number one priority. Big data is now turbocharging what we can achieve.
“In the case of Turbulence Aware, the more precise forecasting of turbulence will provide a real improvement for passengers, whose journeys will be even safer and more comfortable.”