New Three-Hourly Aerodrome Forecast for Major Airports

Written by Jessica Neaves on -

On 5 November 2020 the Aerodrome Forecasts at ten major airports and eight Military aerodromes will become your single, definitive weather forecast for these locations. Teams of specialist meteorologists will provide the most accurate and responsive weather information in these forecasts to keep you flying safely and economically.

For decades, the Bureau of Meteorology has been producing Trend Forecasts (TTF) for Australia’s major airports. While the TTF forecast is responsive to actual weather trends recorded during an observation (METAR/SPECI), the potential for ambiguity exists between it and the Aerodrome Forecast (TAF). Moreover, the format of the TTF is unique to Australia and as it is not ICAO-compliant cannot be provided in the new ICAO digital product formats.

Following requests from industry, the Bureau began a review of the TTF service in 2012, followed by extensive, formal, industry-wide consultation. The final Trend Review report, published on 10 October 2016, recommended replacing the TTF with a simplified, accurate and responsive version of the TAF, which will be routinely issued every 3 hourly and known in Australia as TAF3 service.

Ten major civilian airports are affected by this change: Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Cairns, Canberra, Darwin, Gold Coast and Hobart. At these locations, the TAF3 service will be provided 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  The TAF provided for all other airports will remain unchanged.

Additionally, TAF3 service will be provided at the following Military bases when staffed by Defence decision support meteorologists: Williamtown, Nowra, Tindal, Oakey, Townsville, Pearce, Amberley and East Sale. Aerodrome forecasts will revert to the standard TAF outside of staffed hours, as per current practice.

The new TAF3 service will commence on 5 November 2020. The TAF3 forecast service will be amended to provide similar responsiveness, accuracy and operational meteorological information as the current TTF.

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