BJSS with the Met Office

Technology Transformation

MCA Awards Finalist 2024As one of only two World Area Forecast Centres in the world, the Met Office is responsible for providing charts that forecast significant weather information, including upper air winds, temperatures, and weather hazards (SIGWX charts). This information is critical for the aviation industry to aide flight planning. It allows airlines, air traffic control and other national services to assess weather conditions impacting flight plans and identify the location of jet streams and areas of potentially hazardous weather that could pose risk.

However, as of 2024, this critical information was created via a manual process involving a team of meteorologists extracting data from the Met Office supercomputer and producing charts by hand every six hours. These forecasts were then uploaded to the File Transfer Protocol (FTP) for registered users to access. As well as this process taking up valuable meteorologist time, the Met Office was struggling to maintain this bank of experts. The system was also restricted to producing 24-hour forecasts in standardised formats which no longer met the needs of the aviation industry.

BJSS brought extensive cloud transformation expertise to support the Met Office to not only automate this process, removing the need for human intervention, but to build it using market-leading cloud technology that enabled more granular forecasting, greater customisation of data reports, and ensure compliance with regulatory requirements for information management.

Now in public beta, the new SIGWX system has delivered significant benefits. For the Met Office, valuable scientist time has been saved through the automation of reporting which can now be spent on more valuable tasks.

For the industry, access to data at 15-time steps per 24 hours compared to the previous singular snapshot, and the ability to tailor the information provided to specific flight information regions, allows flight planning to be completed in a much more accurate way. This not only enables airlines to gain efficiencies and reduce their carbon footprint by capitalising on positive weather conditions such as jet streams to reduce flight times and use less fuel, but ultimately helps to prevent accidents and protect lives. Through more granular and frequent reporting, it enables increased ability to identify potential safety-critical hazards and allows these to be planned into flight paths.

In addition, as the first industry project to meet new system-wide information management regulatory requirements, SIGWX also drives consistency across the aviation industry, ensuring all programs can communicate with one another and decision-makers have access to the same information. As the aviation industry rapidly evolves this improved data-sharing will contribute towards limiting the environmental impact of air travel, coping with increased traffic and capacity demands and helping air traffic management strategies to improve flight safety by avoiding hazardous weather conditions.

View the BJSS profile in the MCA Members Directory.