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Qatar Airways joins IATA’s Turbulence Aware programme

Initiative uses real-time data to help pilots and air traffic controllers select optimal flight paths

Qatar Airways and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) have announced that the airline has joined the IATA Turbulence Aware initiative.

Turbulence Aware, developed by IATA, assists airlines in mitigating the impact of turbulence, which is a leading cause of passenger and crew injuries as well as higher fuel costs. 

The initiative collates and shares anonymised turbulence data from thousands of daily flights operated by participating airlines. The real-time data enables pilots and air traffic controllers to select optimal flight paths, avoid turbulence, and fly at optimal levels to maximise fuel efficiency and reduce carbon 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 more than 1,500 reporting aircraft sharing real-time turbulence data. Qatar Airways has equipped 120 aircraft with the Turbulence Aware platform, with plans to expand to the rest of its fleet.

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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.”

As climate change affects weather patterns, the difficulty of managing turbulence is expected to increase. This has serious implications for both flight safety and efficiency. 

IATA director general Willie Walsh added: “We welcome this major commitment from Qatar Airways in becoming the first Middle Eastern airline to join the Turbulence Aware programme.

“This will significantly increase the coverage area for this important safety and operational initiative, providing real-time turbulence information not only to Qatar Airways air crew but also to all participating airlines.

“Qatar Airways has a long history of working with IATA and supporting us on multiple industry initiatives.”

For more information, visit the IATA website.

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