Following the FAA’s well-attended Diversion Management Forum on Nov. 30, the agency is moving forward with several initiatives to improve communication between air traffic controllers, airport operators and airlines during severe weather events.
Starting this month, the FAA’s national Command Center in Warrenton, VA will invite airports to participate in air traffic strategic planning and diversion information teleconferences if weather forecasts suggest diversion situations may develop. As part of this process, the FAA will also ask airlines to identify likely diversion airports, so those operators can be included in planning calls.
If a severe or widespread storm system is forecast, the FAA may also open up a dedicated diversion information teleconference line to enable air traffic, other agencies, airports and airlines to exchange real-time airport condition reports, information about available facilities and equipment and other issues related to diversion situations.
The FAA also is working with airports, airlines and aviation groups to organize regional diversion forums and create a small working group to continue the dialogue about managing diversion events more effectively. The regional forums will help share best practices for developing collaborative irregular operations contingency plans and will spread information about the new FAA initiatives.
Meanwhile, the FAA is taking immediate action to improve communications to the airlines and airports about equipment outages that may play a factor in diversion decisions.