A plane taking off from an airport runway.

Aviation Regulated Services

CAA responsibilities

The Met Office is designated by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to ensure safe and reliable air transport 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 for low-level aviation

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:

Met Watch Office (MWO)

We are an ICAO Met Watch Office responsible for the provision of en route weather products such as SIGnificant METeorological (SIGMET) hazards for aircraft within the UK Flight Information Region.

Air Traffic Management

We provide bespoke products and advice for National Air Traffic Services (NATS) to:

  • assist with the safe and efficient routing of air traffic over the UK and North Atlantic
  • minimise the impact of adverse weather across UK airspace

Other services provided on behalf of the CAA

  • technical advice on meteorological issues
  • support at ICAO working groups and panels
  • audits of meteorological observation facilities at UK aerodromes
  • supplying weather information to assist with weather related investigations
  • aviation research and development
  • information on the performance of our forecasts

The Met Office has developed plans for the provision of aviation services and capabilities under designation from CAA for EU Reference Period 3 (RP3), covering the period January 2020 to end 2024. The document available here includes feedback on these plans from stakeholders.

International data distribution via SADIS

The Secure Aviation Data Information System (SADIS) supplies World Area Forecast System (WAFS) and OPerational METeorology (OPMET) data to aviation users in Europe, Africa, and parts of Asia. This is an FTP system which is delivered and  maintained exclusively by the Met Office.

Speak to our team on 0370 900 0100 or email transport@metoffice.gov.uk.

World Area Forecast Centre (WAFC)

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

We supply:

  • global forecasts of upper winds and temperatures for flights throughout the world, helping to optimise safety and fuel consumption
  • significant weather data (SIGWX) charts

WAFC London Performance Indicators

London Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC)

The London VAAC is an International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) designated centre, responsible for issuing advisories for volcanic eruptions originating in Iceland and the north-eastern corner of the North Atlantic. We are one of only 9 Volcanic Ash Advisory Centres worldwide.

The London VAAC has specialist forecasters who produce volcanic ash advisories and guidance products using a combination of volcano data; satellite-based, ground-based and aircraft observations; weather forecast models and dispersion models. The volcanic ash forecasts are provided to the standards and tolerances set by the regulator, and support decision-making by the CAA as the lead agency, NATS and airlines.

London VAAC provides a reciprocal back-up facility with Toulouse VAAC, operated by Meteo France.

Map of the 9 VAACs and their respective areas of responsibility

Speak to our team on 0370 900 0100 or email transport@metoffice.gov.uk.

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