Aviation In Canada

Friday, September 23, 2005

Weather Follow Up

I didn't realize just how busy a month September can be. I've missed a few days recently.

Anyway, this post is intended to be a follow up to Eric's comment from the post on the 21st. I didn't quite answer his question.

When aircraft make PIREPs to ACC controllers, we are supposed to pass those along to FSS, who will then enter them in the system for retrieval by others over the AFTN, the Aeronautical Fixed Telecommunication Network. This network is accessible by dispatchers, ACCs, FSS, and a number of other agencies connected with the movement of aircraft and information.

The problem is this, in practice: There are a lot of reports, and often people are too busy to actually pass these to the supervisor. Unless there is something significant like severe turbulence or severe icing, these reports may not get passed on to someone who can enter this into the AFTN circuits. Often these reports are held at the sector by the controller for verbal communication to pilots who are flying in his area, and shared with adjacent sectors who have aircraft that are flight planned through. If it's only occasional light chop, these are often disregarded.