NTSB Sets Forum on Pilot Weather Reports

"We cannot control the weather, but we certainly can plan for it when we receive reports about conditions experienced by others along our intended route," said NTSB Member Robert Sumwalt, the forum's presiding board member.

The National Transportation Safety Board announced it will host a forum June 21-22 about the use of pilot weather reports, commonly known as PIREPs. The forum will take place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at NTSB's headquarters in Washington, D.C., where residents are still coming to grips with reduced service on the Metro subway system as the SafeTrack emergency track maintenance program commenced June 4.

The forum is titled "PIREPs: Pay it Forward . . . Because Weather for One is Weather for None." It will focus on the need to improve the PIREP and weather dissemination process, future improvements, and emerging technologies that may improve pilots' awareness of weather conditions.

"We cannot control the weather, but we certainly can plan for it when we receive reports about conditions experienced by others along our intended route," said NTSB Member Robert Sumwalt, the forum's presiding board member. "For PIREPs to be most effective, they must be accurate and made quickly available in the National Airspace System. There are several problems degrading the effectiveness of PIREPs, and it is our intent to use information gathered during our forum – from across the broad spectrum of the aviation community – to find ways to best improve PIREP handling and use."

Topics for the panel discussions include the use and significance of PIREP information to weather services, air traffic controllers, pilots and researchers; the lifecycle of a PIREP; PIREP training, education, and operations; and future improvements and emerging technologies for PIREPs. NTSB anticipates more than 16 aviation stakeholders and partners, including federal agencies, airlines, associations and academic organizations, will participate in the forum, which is free and open to the public and also available as a webcast at http://ntsb.capitolconnection.org/. Stakeholder interested in participating in the forum but unable to attend may submit an inquiry or provide insights at PIREP.Forum@ntsb.gov.

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