National Responsibilities

Aircraft in flight

We have a number of national responsibilities to ensure safe and reliable air transport.

The Met Office is designated by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to undertake these responsibilities in accordance with the International standards and recommended practices set out in Annex 3 to the convention on International Civil Aviation published by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO)

Services provided for users of UK Airspace

Airports, airlines and pilots have access to a wide range of weather information to assist with the planning and safe conduct of flights in UK airspace. This information includes:-

• Aerodrome forecasts (TAFs) for 55 Airports
• Warnings of Hazardous weather conditions at 103 Airports and aerodromes
• En-route significant weather hazards (SIGMETs)
• Short term landing forecasts (TRENDS) for 7 locations
• Low-level significant weather forecasts
• Upper winds and temperatures at fixed locations
• Text based aviation forecasts (AIRMET)
• Specialist forecasts for Ballooning.
• Services for offshore helicopters.

The above services are available via our website, Aeronautical Fixed Telecommunications Network (AFTN), where appropriate, and increasingly via mobile devices.

Services provided for Air Traffic Management

In addition to the above, the National Air Traffic services (NATS), receive a number of specialised services to assist with routing of air traffic over the UK and North Atlantic, and to minimise the impacts of adverse weather across UK airspace. Ongoing collaboration work is helping to enhance science and delivery of time based separation and runway occupancy times.

Other services provided on behalf of the CAA

These include technical advice to the CAA on meteorological issues, support and advice at ICAO working groups and panels, carrying out audits of meteorological observation facilities at UK aerodromes and investigations into weather related Mandatory Occurrence Reports (MORs).

Last updated: 3 June 2014