Qatar Airways and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced that Qatar Airways will become the first airline in the Middle East to join the IATA Turbulence Aware platform.
Turbulence Aware, developed by IATA, assists airlines in mitigating the impact of turbulence, which is a leading cause of passenger and crew injuries and higher fuel costs each year, by pooling and sharing anonymized turbulence data from multiple participating airlines and thousands of daily flights. The real-time, accurate data enables pilots and dispatchers to select optimal flight paths, avoid turbulence, and fly at optimal levels to maximise fuel efficiency and thus reduce CO2 emissions.
When the Turbulence Aware initiative was launched as a pilot project in December 2018, Qatar Airways was the first Middle Eastern airline to participate. Since then, Turbulence Aware has grown into a fully operational platform with over 1,500 reporting aircraft sharing real-time turbulence data. Qatar Airways announced today that it has equipped 120 aircraft with the Turbulence Aware platform, with plans to expand to the rest of its fleet.
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive Akbar Al Baker said: “With safety and environmental sustainability as our top priority, we show our commitment towards responsible flying. We continue to innovate as one of the world’s leading airlines by adopting this new solution that combines technology and big data for more efficient flight planning not only to ensure a smooth journey but also to reduce fuel burn, in turn lowering our carbon emissions. To make flying safer and more sustainable, the airline industry must leverage such digital innovations, and work together to share turbulence data for more precise forecasting.”
IATA’s Director General Willie Walsh, said, “We welcome this major commitment from Qatar Airways in becoming the first Middle East airline to join the Turbulence Aware program. This will significantly increase the coverage area for this important safety and operational initiative, providing real-time turbulence information not only to Qatar Airways aircrew but to all the other participating airlines. Qatar Airways has a long history of working with IATA and supporting us on multiple industry initiatives.”
The difficulty of managing turbulence is expected to increase as climate change affects weather patterns. This has implications for both flight safety and efficiency. Turbulence Aware represents a significant improvement in turbulence reporting and avoiding unnecessary fuel consumption. Qatar Airways sees this as a way to help the aviation industry meet its carbon targets, alongside other initiatives such as carbon offsetting, sustainable aviation fuels, electric aircraft, and general awareness about the impact of flying.
By Joe Cusmano