Recommendation R20020183

Recommendation issued to: Bureau Of Meteorology

Recommendation details
Output No: R20020183
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 in conjunction with the Civil Aviation Safety Authority review the meteorology syllabus for initial and periodic recurrent training of pilots and air traffic controllers to ensure that the syllabus includes comprehensive information on convective weather phenomena and its effects on aircraft performance.

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 considers the level of user understanding of Bureau forecasts and warnings, and of the meteorological phenomena to which they refer, as critical to aircraft safety. The Bureau has recently revised the Manual of Aviation Meteorology (the prescribed textbook on meteorology) and it has been published under a cooperative arrangement with Airservices Australia. In addition, the Bureau of Meteorology Training Centre represents a valuable resource to monitor training standards and to continue to develop new training material for the aviation community.

Historically, pilots, or a member of the flight crew, would receive a face to face briefing from Bureau personnel before each flight. Each brief gave Bureau staff an opportunity to provide ongoing training in meteorology and to reinforce existing knowledge. Since that practice has ceased, aircrew may have little contact with Bureau staff and the only meteorological training they receive is during basic pilot training. The importance of interaction between the aviation community and the impact of its loss should not be underestimated when considering deficiencies in meteorological understanding.

One of the drivers behind the current trial arrangement with Qantas, whereby Bureau personnel are located in the Flight Dispatch area, is the need for the Bureau to reconnect with the users of meteorological services and to build mutual understanding. This is very much a two way process. It will help the Bureau to understand airline operational requirements and, on the airline side, to assess the current level of understanding, to provide some ongoing training and to identify where effort needs to be applied to rectify deficiencies in meteorological knowledge

The situation with Air Traffic Controllers is more problematic since it appears that only RAAF controllers have any training in meteorology beyond an authorised observer course. Unlike civil controllers RAAF trainee controllers receive 60 hours of meteorological instruction from Bureau staff at the School of Air Traffic Control at RAAF Base East Sale.

The Bureau will work with both Airservices and CASA to develop strategies for ensuring that both pilots and controllers have an acceptable level of meteorological training.

Last update 03 April 2012