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Joint guidance to prepare for adverse weather in winter: EUROCONTROL and ACI EUROPE release new report

Preparing for winter 2023 - cover banner

EUROCONTROL and ACI EUROPE have just released a guide for airports to prepare for adverse weather conditions typically encountered during the winter.

With a changing climate, such challenges are becoming ever more pressing, additionally affecting airports in regions that traditionally had not been exposed to severe winter weather conditions, or other adverse weather conditions for prolonged periods of time. Produced in close collaboration with representatives from airports, air navigation service providers, airlines and aviation staff and trade associations, the guide has been developed by the European Climate Change Adaptation Working Group, which was set up in 2022 by EUROCONTROL and ACI EUROPE joined by 37 partner organisations with the aim of preparing the European aviation sector for the impacts of climate change.

“Climate change is already today triggering increased extreme weather conditions that are impacting aviation operations. As part of EUROCONTROL’s corporate “Raising the Bar” Programme it is our priority to support the aviation sector in best preparing for adverse weather conditions to avoid disruption of service. The new guide published today maps the possible challenges and possible actions to assist airports as they are getting ready for the possibility of extreme weather conditions this winter.”

Marylin Bastin Head of Aviation Sustainability EUROCONTROL

Weather is usually uncertain, but it is always good to be prepared. Winter weather brings numerous risks for aviation, and taking proactive action helps avoid later problems.

“As critical infrastructure, airports face unique challenges in responding to extreme weather events, especially as they become more frequent and acute due to climate change. The individual resilience of airports has the potential to impact the functioning of the whole aviation network. Mindful of this fact, together with EUROCONTROL and members of our joint European Climate Change Adaptation Working Group, we want to raise awareness of the risks faced by European aviation due to adverse weather and underline the considerable investments needed to adapt our infrastructure. The stability of aviation operations and our business continuity depend upon the level of resilience reached across the entire network.”

Aidan Flanagan Director of Airport Capacity and Operations ACI EUROPE

The "Aviation Preparations for Winter 2023 Adverse Weather" report follows on from the guidance that was produced by the European Climate Change Adaptation Working Group for extreme summer weather, which was published ahead of summer 2023.

Background on the European Climate Change Adaptation Working Group

The Working Group's aim is to tackle together the need for aviation to increase its resilience and to adapt to the risks of climate change. Jointly led by EUROCONTROL and ACI EUROPE, the Working Group currently has 33 member organisations. Representatives meet 3-4 times per year and share expertise and best practices on how to avoid or reduce operational, infrastructure, business and safety risks for the European air traffic management caused by climate change impact. If your organisation is interested in joining the Working Group, please contact Rachel Burbidge.

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