Dubai flights: How Emirates plans to tackle air turbulence with real-time data

The airline has equipped over 140 aircraft with the necessary onboard software to automatically share turbulence reports


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Photo: Supplied
Photo: Supplied

Published: Sun 2 Jun 2024, 2:28 PM

Last updated: Sun 2 Jun 2024, 10:27 PM

Emirates has taken a significant step in enhancing flight safety and efficiency by joining the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) Turbulence Aware Platform.

The news comes just a few days after the death of a passenger and injuries to 104 others after a Singapore Airlines flight hit sudden turbulence above Myanmar, causing it to lose altitude dramatically. Five days later, a Qatar Airways flight also encountered turbulence above Turkey, injuring 12 passengers and crew.

The Dubai-based carrier becomes the first airline to integrate flight data for real-time accuracy with Lido mPilot from Lufthansa Systems.

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The integration of these platforms offers pilots up-to-the-minute, highly accurate turbulence information and forecasts. This allows them means to plot the best routes around turbulence-affected areas, enhancing safety, efficient navigation, and optimisation of flight plans.

Emirates has equipped over 140 aircraft with the necessary onboard software to automatically share turbulence reports. These reports contribute to a pool of data from all participating airlines. Future aircraft joining the Emirates fleet, such as the Airbus A350 and Boeing 777-9, 777-8, and B787, will also be part of this program.

Captain Hassan Alhammadi, Divisional Senior Vice President, Flight Operations Emirates Airline, said: “Actively participating in IATA’s Turbulence Aware platform and equipping our pilots with a complement of the latest industry technologies such as the mobile navigation solution Lido mPilot from Lufthansa Systems are part of our commitment to ensure operational safety, efficiency, and customer comfort on every flight.

"We’re also proud to contribute data around turbulence through our Middle East network and extensive links across Africa, Asia, Australia, and other regions. It will help build sophisticated industry knowledge to effectively manage turbulence and evolving weather patterns with even more precision. This is only the beginning, and we are progressing with plans to integrate more cutting-edge technologies to elevate the flying experience even further, so our customers can enjoy smoother journeys.”

Frederic Leger, IATA’s Senior Vice President Commercial Products and Services, said, “Mitigating the adverse effects of turbulence is an industry wide challenge and obtaining accurate and live data is key in this endeavour. The cooperation between IATA Turbulence Aware, Emirates and Lufthansa Systems will further improve the quality and quantity of real time data made available to the industry, allowing for smoother and safer air travel for all."

“IATA Turbulence Aware data enhances the value of Lido mPilot by providing pilots with real-time, accurate and comprehensive information on turbulence, enabling them to make informed decisions and navigate more efficiently. By integrating this data into Lido mPilot, Emirates Airline can increase safety, reduce fuel consumption and minimize passenger discomfort, ultimately improving their operational efficiency and customer satisfaction,” said Andreas Medlhammer, Product Owner Pilot Charting Apps at Lufthansa Systems.

IATA’s Turbulence Aware is a global resource for pilots and aviation professionals, providing real-time, detailed, and objective turbulence information. The platform pools anonymised turbulence data from thousands of flights worldwide, helping pilots and dispatchers choose optimal flight paths, avoid turbulence, maximise fuel efficiency, and reduce carbon emissions. To date, Turbulence Aware has contributed to safer flights for over 700 million passengers.

Lido mPilot, developed by Lufthansa Systems, is an all-in-one mobile navigational charting application tailored to Emirates’ operational requirements. It provides pilots with easy access to terminal charts, a dynamically generated enroute map, and an Airport Moving Map (AMM). Its data-driven, interactive maps and the latest weather features relevant to each flight ensure enhanced situational awareness and the most pertinent information for pilots.


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