IATA unveils technology, allowing airlines to share data on air turbulence

Published: Friday, January 11, 2019

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) recently launched Turbulence Aware, a resource that collects and shares turbulence data generated by participating airlines in real time.

The resources will improve an airline’s ability to forecast and avoid turbulence.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, turbulence is the top cause of injuries in non-fatal airline accidents. Turbulence is forecasted to continue to impact flight efficiency and safety negatively, as turbulence will become worse as climate change increases.

“Turbulence Aware is a great example of the potential for digital transformation in the airline industry,” Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO, said. “The airline industry has always cooperated on safety—its number one priority. Big data is now turbocharging what we can achieve. In the case of Turbulence Aware, the more precise forecasting of turbulence will provide a real improvement for passengers, whose journeys will be even safer and more comfortable.”

Before the launch of Turbulence Aware, airlines could only rely on weather advisories and pilot reports.

These methods have limitations. They are reliant on the quality of available information and are subject to imprecision based on location. They also are inconsistencies and fragmentation of the data sources.