Climate Impact on the Ramp

Kirsty Lewis explains how climate change will impact ground and other critical airport operations.


These are just some examples of the sort of changes to the climate that scientists are expecting — the full implications are much wider. The key question is, which of your work activities are affected by the weather or climate?

Weather conditions such as fog, thunderstorms, snow and ice might have obvious, large-scale effects on airfield activities such as flight safety or refueling. But less obvious issues — such as high temperatures that might subject employees and customers to heat stress — will also need to be considered as our climate changes.

Made now, the right investment decisions along with improvements in technology can reduce businesses’ vulnerability to climate change. The importance is in understanding the risk to your operations so that climate change can be factored in and planned for — now.

The Met Office Hadley Centre has some of the most sophisticated climate change prediction models in the world and advises individuals, businesses and governments in the UK and overseas on the impact and mitigation of climate change. This ranges from general guidance on what to expect in a changing climate to detailed climate impact studies for specific locations.

The question is no longer, will the climate change, but how is the climate changing? Information on the impacts of climate change can help policy makers, local communities and industries plan how to adapt. Climate risk management strategies are needed at all levels, from the individual, to governments.

The Met Office is highly regarded as an expert in aviation weather, one of only two World Area Forecast Centres providing global upper wind and temperatures to the aviation community.

It is also contracted by the Civil Aviation Authority as the sole provider of ‘Annex 3’ services in the UK.

The Met Office also provides commercial services to help plan with the weather. These include historic and climate change data and bespoke consultancy for strategic planning. Other specialist weather advice, such as deicing forecasts and OpenRunway services are available from the Met Office that can give you the advantage.

So stay ahead of the competition with contingency plans to lower, or even eliminate, the effects of adverse weather conditions and climate change on your operations.

The Met Office Hadley Centre is leading international research into the science and impacts of climate change.

For more information: www.metoffice.gov.uk or aviation@metoffice.gov.uk.

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