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Aviation International Responsibilities

Aircraft in flight

Information on our international responsibilities

Volcanic Ash Advisory Centres (VAAC)

The Volcanic Ash Advisory Centres are part of an international system set up by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) called the International Airways Volcano Watch (IAVW).

The IAVW comprises observations of volcanic ash from volcano observatories and other organisations, satellites and aircraft in flight, the issue of warnings in the form of NOTAM and SIGMET messages and, since the mid 1990s, the issue of volcanic ash advisory messages from the Volcanic Ash Advisory Centres identifying areas of volcanic ash and their predicted movement.

World Area Forecast Centres (WAFC)

The Met Office is one of only two World Area Forecast Centres (WAFC) - the other is WAFC Washington (NOAA). Since 1984, WAFC London has provided international forecasting services to meet Annex 3 to the ICAO Convention on Civil Aviation.

As a WAFC, the Met Office:

  • Provides global forecasts of upper winds and temperatures for flights throughout the world helping to optimise safety and fuel consumption
  • Supplies significant weather data (SIGWX) charts
  • Delivers Operational Meteorology (OPMET) - TAFs. METARs and SIGMETs

WAFC London Performance Indicators 

International data distribution

The powerful secure distribution system, SADIS, which gets essential information to aviation users across half the planet, is delivered and maintained by the Met Office.

Met. Watch Office (MWO)

We are responsible for the provision of en route hazardous weather warnings (SIGMETs) to aircraft within our area of responsibility.

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