Adverse weather is the leading cause of flight delay in the US National Airspace System. Airline flight dispatchers must file flight plans about an hour before push-back from the gate using their best available weather forecasts. FAA traffic managers assess the impact of weather on traffic flows, and, when necessary, implement standard reroutes for groups of flights. Given the uncertainty in weather, standardized reroutes may result in large buffers between flight routes and forecast weather. Weather changes as flights progress along planned routes, and because airline dispatchers and FAA traffic managers are busy, especially during weather events, they may miss workable opportunities for more efficient routes around weather. Dynamic Weather Routes (DWR) is a search engine that continuously and automatically analyzes in-flight aircraft in en route airspace and proposes simple route amendments for more efficient routes around convective weather while considering winds aloft, sector congestion, traffic conflicts, and active Special Use Airspace. NASA and American Airlines (AA) are conducting an operational trial of DWR at the AA System Operations Center in Fort Worth, Texas. A key result of the trial is that since airline operators are especially busy during weather events, it is more effective to let the automation identify and alert users to potentially high-value reroute options.
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