The Weather Company Aims for Better In-Flight Customer Experience

Each year, turbulence incidents cost airlines about $100 million due to crew and passenger injuries, unscheduled maintenance, operational inefficiencies, and revenue lost while planes are out of service. What’s more, studies have shown that aircraft encounters with turbulence are the leading cause of non-fatal injuries in the commercial airline industry.

As a result, The Weather Company, an IBM Business, has announced a groundbreaking deal with Gogo Business Aviation that will enable the delivery of real-time turbulence reports and alerts directly to pilots, dispatch, and other operations personnel with the goal being an enhanced in-flight customer experience.

Gogo will implement The Weather Company’s patented Turbulence Auto PIREP System (TAPS), a turbulence detection algorithm, on its aircraft-based communications server. The TAPS software will reside on Gogo's server, which provides access to the necessary data generated by the aircraft to create reports of turbulence intensity. Gogo’s U.S.-based air-to-ground and global satellite communication network is used to send the reports for immediate action in flight operations and weather forecasting.

Mark D. Miller, SVP, Aviation, The Weather Company, told Loyalty360 that the company is dedicated to improving aviation safety.

“We realized that with the information available from national meteorological services and the way airlines implement their turbulence mitigation programs, there was an opportunity to improve turbulence detection,” Miller explained. “As a result of this deal, The Weather Company’s patented turbulence detection algorithm will be implemented on Gogo’s aircraft-based communications servers. This is the first time a non-traditional system on the aircraft will be used to help enhance flight safety.”

Miller added that the company’s goal is to continue to provide industry-leading solutions for the aviation industry, which includes helping reduce the impact of turbulence hazards on aviation operations.

The Weather Company, an IBM Business, is the world’s largest private weather enterprise, helping people make informed decisions – and take action – in the face of weather. The company offers the most accurate, personalized, and actionable weather data and insights to millions of consumers and thousands of businesses via Weather's API, its business solutions division, and its own digital products from The Weather Channel ( and Weather Underground ( The company delivers up to 26 billion forecasts daily for 2.2 billion locations.

Traditionally, flight operations personnel, pilots, and aviation meteorologists received coded verbal reports with limited information on flight conditions, also known as PIREPS. Due to multiple reasons, including a lack of cockpit data connectivity, pilots were not able to get real-time updates. Using the Gogo network, pilots in the cockpit will now be able to access real-time turbulence reports and forecaster created alerts through Weather's flight planning and operations applications like Fusion and WSI Pilotbrief, and aircraft communication displays.

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