Airports fitted with new wind measuring systems
Wednesday, June 24, 2020
by DVRP
THE NEW SYSTEMS INCREASE THE ACCURACY OF MET. SERVICES REPORTS.

Accurate wind measuring systems are critical for the safe taking off and landing of aircrafts at the country’s airports and are also essential for enhancing Saint Lucia’s capacity for long-term climate monitoring. As a result, new wind measuring systems meeting the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards were installed at the Hewanorra International Airport and the George F.L. Charles Airport on March 17, following training of the Meteorological Services staff in operation and maintenance of the systems.

Each wind measuring system consists of a support tower, wind speed and direction sensors, a data logger for archiving data, a radio for transmitting the data and digital display screens housed at the Meteorological Services office and Air Traffic Control (ATC) room.

The new systems will increase the efficiency and accuracy with which the Meteorological Services can prepare its local and international reports on wind para-meters. Information can be disseminated in real time and many of the calculations previously done manually are now automated.

Plans are ahead to enhance the system, procured competitively, to allow for storage of historical data. The digital display screens of the system show readings of average wind speed and wind direction at 2-minute intervals, and minimum and maximum wind speed at 10-minute intervals. The system has the capability of automatically computing head, tail and cross winds. The system is complete with alarms that give alerts when wind speeds may be high or other readings of concern occur. The screens also have the capability to display other weather parameters important for airport operations.

The installation of the wind measuring system was particularly welcomed at the Hewanorra International Airport (HIA) where the old system had been in operation for more than 40 years and was nearing the end of its service life.

Senior Meteorologist at the Saint Lucia Meteorological Services, Mr. Venantius Descartes said: “The old system that we had has served its time. It worked for a very long time and it needed replacement. Having this new system, making use of latest technology, is a very important achievement.”

The Meteorological Services staff such as Mr. Ruven Pologne and Mr. Govinda Augustin who will be directly involved in operating and using the wind measuring systems were also very pleased with the installations.

For sustainability, the system will be protected from interferences from birds and can be enhanced by the addition of sensors for other whether parameters over time.