EBACE Convention News

Universal in-flight Wx alerts

 - November 28, 2006, 12:36 PM

Visitors to Universal Weather & Aviation (Booth No. 1020) can learn of the company’s recently launched In-flight Alerts system designed to keep flight crews apprised of weather hazards or other changing conditions that could affect planned and active flight routes. By means of significant system enhancements, Universal now provides automated alerts of new weather or flight-impacting notifications to one of its 60 staff meteorologists.

These experts then apply their experience to determine how such a notification might affect a flight and if conditions or notices warrant it, they will send a message via ground-to-air communications to warn of developments that might affect safety. “This In-flight Alerts service is especially valuable while the aircraft is in the air, when the crew is most vulnerable to changes that may impact the flight,” said Ron Westheimer, Universal’s manager for flight planning and weather systems.

Conditions judged to warrant an alert to a Universal meteorologist include sigmets (significant meteorological warnings) and the less significant airmets, as well as pilot reports (pireps) and notams (notices to airmen). Pricing is offered on an annual or per-flight basis and the company may tempt new customers with a free trial period.

Challenging weather, such as thunderstorms or unexpected events such as an airport workers’ strike, can occur in an instant, even in the midst of a flight, and it is this that led Universal to develop the new enhanced notification service.  

Now, to bring its services to an area of high economic growth, Universal has opened an office at São Paulo’s Guarulhos International Airport. This is the first company facility to serve clients traveling to and from Brazil, and the ninth UV Global Network member in South America.