ATC Weather Knowledge & Skills: A Contributor to the General Aviation Weather Problem?
Aviation weather continues to challenge General Aviation (GA) operations. The majority of weather related incidents that result in fatality occur within the GA community. Limited research has been conducted to investigate Air Traffic Control’s (ATC) role within weather related emergencies. The purpose of this paper is to describe and discuss the role of ATC in the GA community within weather related incidents. This paper reviews aviation weather concepts, describes ATC’s function during inadvertent meteorological conditions, identifies possible deficiencies and limitations pilots and ATC confront during meteorological related incidents, and suggests recommendations to mitigate ATC operating limitations. ATC challenges include a possible lack of aviation weather knowledge, insufficient practice on weather emergency scenarios, and a disadvantage in regards to weather equipment and tools. Recommended solutions to these challenges include innovation of weather products and technology and new ATC training protocols to accompany these technological advances.