Frequently Asked Questions - Meteo

  1. Where can I find more information on the available meteo products ?
  2. Which time zone is used for the validity time of the products ?
  3. How can I get meteorological information for a specific route ?
  4. Where can I find the definition of the different weather symbols ?
  5. How is the publication schedule of the meteo products decided ?
  6. How do I access previous weather information ?
  7. Why are the Belgocontrol meteorological data not openly accessible ?
  8. Why is it not indicated in the meteo reports whether it is possible to fly ?
  9. Why aren't there more specialized products intended for sport aviation ?
  10. Why aren't there more altitude levels and timing available for the numerical forecast products ?
  11. Why are the Opmet products provided in language code ?
  12. Why are the surface analysis charts not available at their validity time ?
  13. Why are there no other types and locations of radar images ?
  14. How can I contact the weather department if I have any other question ?

 

Q1: Where can I find more information on the available meteo products ?

A: All the available meteo products and their validity time can be found on the web page Meteo Products.

back to top

Q2: Which time zone is used for the validity time of the products ?

A: By default, all meteo products are indicated in ‘Universal Coordinated Time' (UTC), which you can recognize by the letter « Z » added as a suffix. In special cases, local time is used, followed by « LT ».

back to top

Q3: How can I get meteorological information for a specific route ?

A: The Belgocontrol operational site can provide you with a flight planning or « preflight information bulletin » (PIB) in PDF, which consists of NOTAMs and meteo information for a specific flight. This application is accessible on the AIM-Meteo briefing web page("Narrow route"). In order to access this functionality, registration is required.

back to top

Q4: Where can I find the definition of the different weather symbols ?

A: The main weather symbols and abbreviations are listed on the cover of the « preflight information bulletin » (PIB) and can also be downloaded in PDF here.

back to top

Q5: How is the publication schedule of the meteo products decided ?

A: The publication schedule of the meteo products depends on the transmission of data calculated by the numerical forecast models. This data is sent to the Belgocontrol meteorological department by external suppliers. Then, our forecasters interpret the data and compile the forecast products as soon as possible.

back to top

Q6: How do I access previous weather information ?

A: METARs of the last 24 hours are available on the AIM-Meteo briefing (registration is required). For any other requests, please fill out the form called Meteo climatology.

back to top

Q7: Why are the Belgocontrol meteorological data not openly accessible ?

A: Belgocontrol fulfils a public service mission that is specific to the aviation sector. So, the meteo data provided by our website is only reserved to users of this sector, which is why we need to restrict its access. Meteo information destined for the general public can be found on the website of the Royal Meteorological Institute (RMI) on the following address: http://www.meteo.be

back to top

Q8: Why is it not indicated in the meteo reports whether it is possible to fly ?

A: The mission of the Belgocontrol meteorological department is to provide the information needed to prepare flights. In this context, it is not up to us to substitute for the pilot's expertise regarding the flight decision-making, which also depends on non-meteorological factors.

back to top

Q9: Why aren't there more specialized products intended for sport aviation ?

A: Belgocontrol does its utmost to provide a wide range meteo products for all its customers. However, we are bound by our public service mission to cater for the needs of the professional users in particular (airline companies, handlers, …) so we are unable to deploy more resources for leisure aviation.

back to top

Q10: Why aren't there more altitude levels and timing available for the numerical forecast products ?

A: The altitude levels and timing mentioned in our products are provided by the numerical forecast models sent by external suppliers. Consequently, we cannot set those parameters ourselves.

back to top

Q11: Why are the Opmet products provided in language code ?

A: The provision of Opmet products is ruled by international standards (more specifically Annex 3 of the Convention on International Civil Aviation) which our bulletins have to comply with.
The main weather symbols and abbreviations can be viewed on the « preflight information bulletin » (PIB) cover and downloaded in PDF here.

back to top

Q12: Why are the surface analysis charts not available at their validity time ?

A: Surface analysis charts are drawn up on the basis of weather observations on a given time (their validity time). The time during which the chart is available on the website depends on the time needed by our forecasters to transfer the data and to develop the analysis chart (plotting of fronts, …). Of course, this process takes some time.

back to top

Q13: Why are there no other types and locations of radar images ?

A: Radar images displayed on the website are provided by the Belgocontrol weather radar located near Brussels Airport. The products have been designed so as to provide our users with the most relevant information possible.

back to top

Q14: How can I contact the weather department if I have any other question ?

A: All operational questions can be asked by using the meteo feedback form.

back to top

 
AIM Briefing
 

Annual report 2016   (3.43 Mb)
Video: The weather - Observations and forecasts  
Meteorological services - Accurate weather information for a safe airspace   (0.52 Mb)