The Business Times

Taking the bump out of turbulence

Stronger computing power, better satellite technology giving airlines a clearer picture of flying conditions

Published Mon, Sep 8, 2014 · 10:00 PM
Share this article.

[NEW YORK] Just a few years ago, airlines got their weather reports by telex. Pilots pored over reams of paper and compared the forecasts with their flight plans. Once airborne, they depended on radio communications and rudimentary radar to avoid bad weather.

Now, pilots download detailed flight plans and weather reports full of intricate graphics onto tablet devices. Flight dispatchers track aircraft in real time and provide up-to-the-minute weather data. New generations of aeroplane radar systems allow for easy in-flight adjustments.

The result? Fewer of the bumps, jolts and spilled drinks that have been a part of flying ever since the Wright Brothers.

BT is now on Telegram!

For daily updates on weekdays and specially selected content for the weekend. Subscribe to

Transport & Logistics


Get the latest coverage and full access to all BT premium content.


Browse corporate subscription here