Today, it has been announced that the operations of St Helena Airport will be supported by the UK Met Office, one of the world’s foremost weather and climate service providers.  The UK Met Office will be responsible for providing an on-Island weather forecasting service.

The on-site forecaster will operate from the Air Traffic Control Tower in the Combined Building at the Airport.  The forecaster will work closely with the Airport Operator, Basil Read, to provide an internationally compliant forecast service to the Airport and weather briefings for airlines and pilots operating to and from St Helena.   The service will be supported by the extensive UK Met Office forecast capabilities at their Exeter headquarters, including the aviation team and Chief Meteorologist.

Senior Aviation Advisor at the UK Met Office, Darren Hardy, said:

“We are really looking forward to working with St Helena Airport to ensure airlines and their passengers receive a safe and efficient service. The climatology of St Helena presents unique challenges to the Airport and the airlines operating to and from it. As such we are proud to provide St Helena’s first on-Island forecasting capability. Having our Meteorologist based on the Island means we will be ideally placed to understand and forecast the local winds and other factors that can affect the safe operations at the new Airport.”

On non-flight days, the forecaster will work on further developing the climatological database for the Island, which will help to provide highly accurate forecasting, consequently enhancing the operational safety of the Airport.

The UK Met Office currently provides forecast services for aviation all over the world, from Heathrow, the largest airport in the UK, to the South Atlantic air bridge to Ascension Island and the Falklands.  They currently have a partnership with SHG to collect surface and upper air data from Bottoms Woods for use by forecasters/scientists for their global monitoring processes.

SHG

14 November 2014

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