Met office provides new aviation service for private pilots

Vital weather information will be accessible to VFR pilots on mobile devices for the first time starting in June.

The Met Office has this week announced details of its new aviation service for private pilots - making weather information available on mobile devices for the first time. The information will be easy to access and will provide a wealth of content that will ultimately help improve the safety of pilots. The mobile-enabled site will specifically benefit pilots who may not live close to their take-off location – allowing them to check the very latest weather information at their destination and en route, and make important decisions just before take-off.

The updated product, due to be officially released this June, forms a key part of the Met Office’s mandate from the CAA to provide accurate weather information to private pilots for pre flight planning.

Attention has been given to feedback from the pilot community to ensure the latest product has all the functionality required. Key enhancements include the ability to view the last five METARS (thus allowing pilots to have an increased understanding of weather context and historic conditions) as well as to save preferences to make it even easier for to access the information quickly.

In addition to the free service there will be a paid-for premium service available with additional content including:

· “Near Europe” TAF and METAR bulletins

· Additional UK TAF and METAR bulletins

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· “Near Europe” SIGMETs

· 120 hour synoptic forecast

· UK high resolution rainfall radar

· “Near Europe” Rainfall Radar

· European satellite coverage

· High resolution model precipitation type, cloud and visibility layers.

· No advertising and sponsorship

On top of this innovation, the Met Office is changing its aerodrome warnings service, including freely accessible warnings for private pilots for the first time.

Jon Croome, Business Development Manager for the Met Office says: “The enhanced service brings together all the pre-flight weather information needed by UK pilots – all accessible through one, trusted source which uses up-to-date forecasts provided by our skilled meteorologists, high resolution model data and observations. We are putting the final touches to this new product, which is approved by the CAA, and are looking forward to a successful launch in June. It will provide the most comprehensive UK aviation weather source available for pilots, and will offer large benefits in terms of ease of use and access to the most up-to-the-minute information.”

www.metoffice.gov.uk/aviation

Meanwhile, as leaders in aviation meteorology, the Met Office has developed a wide range of training courses for the aviation community which are available at the Met Office College. For more information visit www.metoffice.gov.uk/training/college