The Director of the Hong Kong Observatory (HKO), Mr Shun Chi-ming, in his capacity as the President of the Commission for Aeronautical Meteorology (CAeM) of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), presided over the 16th session of the CAeM held from July 24 to 27 (Exeter time), and the Technical Conference held on July 23, in Exeter, the United Kingdom.
Speaking at the opening of the session, Mr Shun said, “Aviation is one of the most weather-sensitive economic sectors. Science and technology are rapidly advancing, and so are user requirements. We need to ensure that in close collaboration with the user and research communities, the weather community will be able to further develop services that are fit-for-purpose and credible, both now and in the future.”
A total of 159 participants from 54 WMO members and eight international organisations attended the session meeting, which discussed the future development plan of the CAeM with five priority themes identified including aeronautical meteorological hazards prediction, aeronautical meteorological information service and governance, and impacts of climate change and variability on aviation. The meeting also discussed the operational structure of the CAeM to take forward future work, strengthening collaboration with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), and WMO constituent body reform and its implication on the CAeM.
The closing of the session marked the end of Mr Shun’s second four-year term as the President of the CAeM. He was elected President in the 14th session held in Hong Kong in February 2010, and was re-elected in the 15th session held in Montreal, Canada, in July 2014. Mr Shun is the first Chinese person to serve as the president of a technical commission of the WMO since its establishment in 1951.
During Mr Shun’s presidency, the CAeM has taken forward numerous projects, including the widespread implementation of a quality management system for aeronautical meteorological services, the launch of the Aviation Research and Development Project championed by the HKO, and the development of the Southeast Asia SIGMET (Significant Weather Information) co-ordination project. He also led various national and local development projects including the establishment of the Asian Aviation Meteorological Centre in co-operation with Mainland counterparts, and the launch of the electronic flight bag mobile application “MyFlightWx” developed by the HKO.
Considering the sustained contribution of Hong Kong, China to the work of the CAeM, the Assistant Director of the HKO, Ms Sharon Lau, was selected as a member of the new management group of the CAeM at the meeting. Ms Lau will assist the newly elected President, Mr Ian Lisk of the United Kingdom, to further develop aeronautical meteorological services and lead the work on aeronautical meteorological hazards prediction – one of the five priority themes of the CAeM – over the coming four years.
The CAeM is one of the WMO’s eight technical commissions looking after the application of meteorology to aviation. Its primary mission is to develop international standards and practices in co-ordination with the expert bodies of the ICAO, and co-ordinate technical support and capacity development for WMO members to meet the requirements of aviation for safe, economical and efficient air navigation.