Jul 15, 2014 10:15 AM
In a new five-year contract, the Met Office is to provide a team of on-site meteorologists year-round at Heathrow Airport, the world's busiest international airport.
The contract is the first in the UK for integrating meteorologists in a civil airport environment in an advice-based role, and is designed to provide major operational benefits for Heathrow - to help achieve the airport's aim to make every journey better for its passengers.
Under the new partnership a team of Products and services meteorologists will work on-site, alongside Heathrow Airport operational staff. Working around the clock every day of the year, the meteorologists will fully integrate weather advice into the airport's operational decision making, to help minimise weather-related disruption.
Alan Peever, Head of Airside Operations at Heathrow, said: "Heathrow is the world's busiest two-runway airport and is effectively full. Severe weather will always reduce capacity and cause delays or cancellations. Working closely with the on-site Met Office team to identify weather conditions as early as possible improves resilience and means any changes to the flight schedule can be communicated clearly, consistently and in advance to passengers, minimising disruption."
The meteorologists will concentrate on the weather that will affect Heathrow and its immediate surroundings benefiting the whole airport community enabling collaborative decision making across airside, landside and airline users. Additionally, the Met Office will provide Heathrow with web services and support for runway surface observations.
Ian Cameron, Head of Aviation services at Met Office, said: "Being on site means we will be able to provide the best weather advice immediately to the operational teams, helping the airport to cope better with any weather situation thus enabling the Heathrow flight schedule to run smoothly."