It’s that time of year again when we send a team of specialist aviation meteorologists to work within easyJet’s Operations Centre. This year’s team comes from Met Office sites across the UK, with most returning after working with easyJet last year. But what is it like to offer on-the-ground support to this highly weather-sensitive industry? Aviation meteorologist, Emma Corrigan, give us an insight into her day-to-day work at easyJet operational headquarters…
With over 250 aircraft criss-crossing Europe’s skies, easyJet relies on confident forecasts to mitigate any impact the weather may have on their daily operations. As flights start from 6am, the busiest part of the working day for Emma is often before most people have woken up.
“The morning shift begins at 4am and the next two hours are filled with particularly intense activity. This includes looking at the general weather situation, then focusing on anywhere easyJet is particularly concerned about to give them more detail.”
The skill of working as an aviation meteorologist involves giving clients complex weather information in a way that best helps them make important decisions. At easyJet, this can mean homing in on their most popular flight routes and airports.
“Aircraft can sometimes do six flights in one day, so if a morning one is delayed it can have a knock-on effect that could have the negative consequence of delays impacting on customers,” says Emma. “I produce a daily weather summary that highlights the risk of potential impacts. When there is difficult weather around easyJet’s main bases, such as where aircraft and crew are stationed, we tend to see a much higher impact than at smaller airports which may only have one flight a day.”
After creating the forecast, Emma briefs everyone from engineers to executives on the day’s weather, as well as giving them a five-day outlook. She also talks to pilots about the weather forecast for their route – including sending up-to-the-minute information to them while they’re in flight. For Emma, it’s the chance to work so closely with the company that she finds most interesting. “You can see how your advice affects the decisions they make. It makes it really enjoyable when your information helps keep their programme on track.”
And the biggest challenge? The changeability of the weather. As Emma explains, “meteorology isn’t an exact science. Sometimes we’ll be faced with a marginal weather situation that could go either way. You have to be confident in the advice you’re giving, and not sit on the fence.”
Right across the aviation sector, the Met Office is there to provide the detailed weather advice that’s crucial to keeping operations running smoothly. We look forward to another winter working onsite with easyJet.
Emma Connett- Aviation Marketing Manager