Pilots see clear skies ahead with new weather app

One-of-a-kind weather service helps aviators navigate better with satellite pictures, forecasts

PUBLISHED : Friday, 20 December, 2013, 4:29am
UPDATED : Friday, 20 December, 2013, 4:29am

The Observatory has launched a mobile application providing weather services to pilots, the first of its kind, as it celebrated the airport meteorological office's 15th anniversary yesterday.

The app, MyAeroMET, which is tailored for the aviation community, allows pilots to obtain the latest weather information through their mobile devices, providing them with satellite pictures, reports of hazardous weather, and forecasts across the globe, said the Observatory's assistant director Sharon Lau.

Anthony So, technical training director at the Youth Aviation Academy, believed the app would be welcomed by pilots.

"When pilots see this app, I am sure they will be very, very impressed," he said.

So said a lot of weather information for pilots was currently issued on paper, and it was often not clearly set out. The app, he said, would help to present information to pilots much more clearly.

Pilots usually detect areas of air turbulence in visually fine weather through the use of paper charts or from previous experience, because of the limitations of aircraft radars in this area.

But the app, So said, can provide that information on a mobile device and help pilots to more efficiently avoid such areas.

Advanced as it is, however, the app still has room for improvement. Its use is limited in providing real-time information on wind shear, or the difference in wind speed and direction over a relatively short distance in the atmosphere. Pilots still have to depend on air traffic control officers for that.

But Lau said he believed such real-time information would be made accessible to pilots in future as the technology continued to advance.