Recommendation R20020182

Recommendation issued to: Bureau Of Meteorology

Recommendation details
Output No: R20020182
Date issued: 20 September 2002
Safety action status:
Background: Why this Recommendation was developed

Output text

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau recommends that the Bureau of Meteorology expedite the research and development program to examine wind shifts and wind shear, with the objective to improve the detection and forecasting of wind shifts and the detection of windshear in the vicinity of high risk airport terminal areas.

Initial response
Date issued: 19 April 2004
Response from: Bureau Of Meteorology
Action status: Closed - Accepted
Response text:

The following response dated 13 April 2004 was received from the Bureau of Meteorology:

The Bureau of Meteorology Research Centre has been trialling a Low Level Wind Shear Alert System at Darwin Airport for several years. This system utilises a network of anemometers that report at frequent intervals. The data is processed, wind shear is identified and appropriate alerts are provided to ATC and pilots. An operational trial of the system was successfully conducted in 1997 with warnings provided to ATC and pilots. The system was upgraded in 1999 in a joint project with a private Australian company wishing to develop the system commercially.

Up to now industry has not supported the extension of LLWAS systems to other aerodromes. The perception has been that the frequency of windshear events is not high enough to justify the cost of the system (to install an LLWAS system at Sydney Airport would cost in the order of one million dollars), and because this system would be benefit the aviation industry exclusively, its cost would need to be recovered from industry. There are also problems that need to be resolved in regard to how the relevant information can be relayed to pilots in a timely manner, given that the life cycle of wind shear events can be in the order of a few minutes to 10 minutes.

The Bureau will continue to discuss the issue with both industry forums and agency working groups to determine whether LLWAS is an appropriate system for Australian conditions. It should be noted also that, if there were a requirement for an LLWAS system, it would be most likely a commercial off-the-shelf system, rather than a Bureau-developed system.

Last update 03 April 2012