flying above the clouds watching the landscape


Meteorological information is crucial for the safe, efficient, economical and environmentally friendly operation of civil aviation.  

Vue d'ensemble

Meteorological information is crucial for the safe, efficient, economical and environmentally friendly operation of civil aviation.  

Weather conditions at ground level and altitude, such as thunderstorms, strong winds, fog, heavy snowfall and icing, can pose significant risks to an aircraft's performance and passengers' safety. Up-to-date weather forecasts help pilots, air traffic controllers, airline operations and others to prepare for and avoid hazardous weather conditions.  

National meteorological services and other designated agencies worldwide are responsible for providing a wide range of meteorological services, including observations, forecasts and warnings, on a 24/7 basis to the aviation industry. This information guides the day-to-day operations of pilots, air traffic controllers, airline operators, flight dispatchers, aircraft ground handling agents and airport operators.

Weather information helps to make informed decisions about:

  • Safety – avoiding or preparing aircraft for hazardous weather conditions such as turbulence and icing.
  • Flight schedules - Adverse weather conditions such as strong winds can cause flight delays or cancellations; airlines can use this information to advise passengers how their flight might be affected.  
  • Flight planning – Wind speed, turbulence and visibility among others can affect flight routes. Pilots use weather information to plan their flights.
  • Air traffic management - Weather data is used to anticipate and manage congestion, reroute flights, and maintain safe separation between aircraft.
  • Airport Operations - Weather conditions can impact airport operations, including runway conditions, visibility, and the ability to take off and land safely. Airports rely on weather information to make decisions regarding runway usage, de-icing procedures, and overall airport operations management including the loading and unloading of aircraft. 


Meteorology contributes to aviation safety, efficiency, economy, and environmental protection. WMO works closely and collaboratively with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), a sister specialized agency of the United Nations, and other industry stakeholders in developing specific standards and procedures for meteorological services for international air navigation. This work makes safer, sustainable and greener air travel possible.

Unseasonal or extreme weather events that may be linked to climate change can negatively affect the aviation sector. Changes in weather parameters, such as temperature, storm patterns and sea level rise, can affect aircraft performance, airport infrastructure, and passenger demand patterns. Sometimes, events such as volcanic eruptions, heavy rainfall or snowfall can delay or cancel flights. Extreme or rare weather events can also cause flight disruptions, such as the heat wave in the summer of 2022 in the UK, which led to surface defects on runways and resulted in flight delays and cancellations until the runway had been repaired. 

Réponse de l'OMM

WMO and its partners, including the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), play an essential role in the development of international technical regulations and guidance material in meteorology, including standards, recommended practices and procedures that enable aviation worldwide, 24 hours a day, safely and efficiently and with minimal impact on the environment.

Through its Regional Associations, WMO plays a major role in providing targeted assistance to Members, particularly in developing and least developed countries, to build their capacity to meet the international requirements for the quality of aeronautical meteorological services, the competency of personnel providing the services (observers and forecasters) and the overall performance improvement of the services.