Germantown, Maryland, USA – March 15, 2011 – Earth Networks, the provider of WeatherBug products and services and operator of the largest weather observing and lightning network, today announced its advanced, all-weather monitoring and alerting products are being utilized at the Orlando International Airport in central Florida for improved ground crew safety and operations. The solution includes a professional-grade WeatherBug weather station equipped with a lightning sensor; StreamerRT, a web-based weather visualization and monitoring application; and lightning alerting devices.
The solution helps protect ground crews including baggage handlers, technicians and mechanics of twenty different airlines, from dangerous lightning and other forms of severe weather, including high winds and storms. The solution will also help the airport and the airlines improve their on-time performance by providing weather insight for management to make more informed operational decisions regarding approaching severe weather and minimizing false alarms.
Florida is widely regarded as the “lightning capital of the nation,” with its hot, humid air and location that create ideal conditions for lightning formation. The addition of the WeatherBug weather station and lightning sensor at the Orlando International Airport provide airport operations staff with access to real-time weather and in-cloud and cloud-to-ground lightning information specific to the airport. This enables staff to monitor and react to lightning, storms, and other weather moving through the region.
More specifically, the operations staff uses the StreamerRT application for onscreen visualization of the local weather station and lightning sensor data. Weather information is also available from thousands of other WeatherBug weather stations and hundreds of lightning sensors in the WeatherBug Total Lightning Network (WTLN) for continual monitoring and tracking of severe weather activity. In addition, airport personnel receive notifications from integrated alert beacons when user-defined thresholds for lightning strikes and weather variables are exceeded, which will help to quickly and effectively move crews to safety and help management make more informed operational decisions.
“Orlando International Airport is an extremely busy travel hub located near many of the nation’s biggest, most popular vacation destinations and attraction,” says Cyrus Callum, of the Operations Department for the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority, which manages Orlando International Airport. “We are continuously seeking to enhance airport operations for the more than 35 million passengers who fly into and out of Orlando International Airport every year. Accessing updated, local weather conditions; watching weather as it happens in real-time; and receiving prompt alerts on a web-based system during weather events is significant. It enables us to respond more efficiently in providing information and making decisions that keep safety our number-one priority.”
“When it comes to weather notification and lightning safety, airports must be equipped with the best technology possible to keep ground crews, who work in all types of outdoor conditions imaginable, as safe as possible,” said John Bosse, Director of Government and Energy Solutions, Earth Networks. “Given that airports are at higher risk from lightning strikes due to their open landscape and the presence of towers and antennae, having accurate weather and lightning data can mean the difference, quite literally, between life and death. The dense network of WeatherBug lightning sensors throughout Florida provides a more complete view of total lightning, while our solutions packages with desktop and mobile applications and alerting devices help make advanced warnings and better management decisions possible.”
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