Posted June 02, 2019 07:10:16We all know the "no questions asked" rule in the US.The US Airways blog post about their new fares, for example, states: "We understand that your first flight may be booked online or through a travel agent, but you are asked to provide a valid US passport or visa."So, the rules are pretty simple, right?Wrong.It turns out, this "no queries asked" policy isn't as simple ...
An industry analyst who previously worked at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is calling for the agency to revise its data on delayed flights to account for weather conditions and other factors that could affect air traffic.
In a letter to FAA Administrator Michael Huerta, the analyst, William L. Gildersleeve, wrote that his analysis shows that a recent forecast for a “high-intensity jet stream” near the equator is actually a forecast for rain and snow, with a chance of severe weather that could cause delays.
The new forecast is a little different from the earlier forecast, which was for a drier-than-usual jet stream and a chance for snow.
Giltner also said he believes that an extra 5 percent chance of a “severe weather event” in the next two weeks is a “significant” underestimate.
“The most important aspect of our forecast is not the amount of rain or snow but rather the chance of precipitation and snowfall,” Gilder wrote.
“If we are right, we will be forecasting the highest possible likelihood of severe events on a monthly basis.”
“We believe the most important factors influencing weather conditions are the weather model forecast, weather conditions, and the air traffic conditions,” he added.
“While the FAA and I are not advocating for the use of new forecasts, we do recognize that new models need to be better updated to better account for new weather conditions.”
Gildersleece pointed out that a separate study by the University of Washington released in September found that weather conditions were more likely to affect air travel in the Northeast than anywhere else in the country.
The report found that forecasts from the National Weather Service predicted a 20 percent chance for rain in the U.S. in mid-September.
“We’re still waiting for the data, but this is a pretty good estimate of what the likelihood is,” Giltersleeve said.
“It’s pretty high, but the probability of precipitation is much lower.”
In an interview with Recode, Gildesleece also said that the FAA should take a closer look at the data and take into account the new forecast.
“There’s no excuse for the FAA not to update the forecasts, or updating the information that is being generated about weather, in the future,” Gileer said.
“But we have to be realistic and look at all of the available data and understand that these new forecasts are not the only information we need.”
Gilesleeve also criticized Huertas proposed budget cuts to the FAA, calling them “disgraceful” and “inhumane.”
“The FAA should have its budget fully restored, not reduced,” Gilesleeve said in an interview.
“The FAA has a lot of power and should not be diminished at the whim of a small, right-wing group.
We have an opportunity to make some important policy decisions here in the federal government.”