There is increasing use of weather radar for aviation applications. By implementing weather radar, an airport can use the following tools to increase efficiency at an airport and mitigate risk:

  • Detect all types of precipitation, especially dangerous types for aircraft, such as hail
  • Identify the presence of super-cooled water droplets, which can cause icing problems for aircraft
  • Determine the intensity of precipitation that would allow the ground crews to work under safe conditions
  • Have the tools needed for air traffic controllers and pilots to better execute pre-flight planning and make safe approaches and landings
  • Forecast weather significantly outside the boundaries of terminal area and make appropriate plans to mitigate risk and to optimize airport operations considering the beginning and the end of a storm
  • Wind shear, microbursts or gust fronts can have deadly effects on airport operations.  Weather radar add the ability to detect and analyze wind, most importantly wind shear.
  • Radar helps an airport to comply with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Annex 3 requirements for wind shear warnings.
  • Weather radar can be used to measure non-meteorological objects, like birds and insects, which can have a negative effect on efficient airport operations.

No one can control the weather, so the best thing we can do is mitigate the risks, take proper precautions, and be prepared for the weather conditions that affect the aviation industry.  Implementing a Vaisala weather radar at or near an airport location is one way to improve safety, increase operational efficiencies, and save costs due to delays in air travel.