Wednesday, April 19, 2017

[JAXA:0512] Airport Low-level Wind Information (ALWIN) starts operation at Haneda and Narita airports

April 19, 2017 (JST)

Airport Low-level Wind Information (ALWIN) starts operation at Haneda and Narita airports

"Airport Low-level Wind Information (ALWIN)", jointly developed by the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), starts operation today at Tokyo International Airport (Haneda) and Narita International Airport. ALWIN provides low-level wind information (wind direction, wind speed, wind shear*, turbulence, etc.) around airports. While JMA's existing wind shear alert system uses radio voice communication to convey only minimum information about detected wind shears, the newly introduced ALWIN can transmit more detailed and precise wind profiles on final approach paths in real-time. This helps pilots and operators to monitor sudden changes in winds on approach and landing paths. Accordingly, safer landing operations become possible with ALWIN. This is the first case in the world where such an advisory system for low-level wind disturbances is put into actual service.

Low-level wind shears and turbulence often endanger flight safety and efficiency. In fact, roughly 100 go-arounds occur every year at Narita International Airport, causing an average of 20 minutes' delay in arrival for each go-around. Around 90 percent of these go-arounds are caused by low-level wind shears and turbulence. Also, in the past 10 years, two turbulence induced accidents during landing approach were reported at Narita, resulting in injury or death to crews and passengers. The introduction of "ALWIN" to Narita and Haneda will help improve air safety and reliability for on-time arrivals and departures.

JAXA is going to evaluate the actual effects of ALWIN implemented at these two airports. JAXA is also developing a low-cost version based on ALWIN technology.

*Wind shear: Sudden changes in wind speed and/or direction, tends to occur near low pressure systems and fronts.

How ALWIN works: Information provision flow


National Research and Development Agency Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)

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 Public Affairs Department
 Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)
 Ochanomizu sola city,
 4-6 Kandasurugadai, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 101-8008 Japan