Airservices Australia will launch a new system improving the way unexpected but significant weather changes are identified and communicated to pilots.
From 8 November 2018, the alerting function of special weather reports (SPECI) will operate through an upgraded National Aeronautical Information Processing System (NAIPS).
A SPECI weather report is issued when there is significant deterioration or improvement in airport weather conditions, such as surface winds, visibility, cloud base and severe weather.
Currently ATC provides all SPECI for aerodromes that do not have an automatic broadcast system (ABS), meaning pilots must listen in to the ABS at other aerodromes to get the latest weather.
The new system will assess SPECI for all locations and will provide more specific filtering to identify significant SPECIs. ATC will then direct these SPECI to affected pilots within one hour’s flight time.
SPECIs will be made available for all non-towered locations regardless of whether it is an ABS location. This includes non-continuous towers outside tower hours. They are only issued if they are different from the associated TAF and will be repeated within 15 minutes from original SPECI only if the weather situation is worse than issued previously.