Press Release – Secretariat of the Pacific Community
Under rules established by the International Civil Aviation Organization, all Meteorological Services must have a Quality Management System in place if they are providing weather information to the aviation industry.Pacific Meteorology Services to Enhance Their Standards
Under rules established by the International Civil Aviation Organization, all Meteorological Services must have a Quality Management System in place if they are providing weather information to the aviation industry.
The Pacific Meteorological Desk, based at the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme, is helping Pacific Meteorological Services ensure their staff are able to satisfy competency standards as an integral part of their Quality Management certification through a series of workshops under a special project funded by the Government of Finland.
This week the first workshop is taking place in Apia, Samoa, bringing together 25 participants from 12 Pacific islands to help each meteorological service develop a plan unique to its circumstances. This will enable them to assess the competencies of their – staff and identify gaps where training is needed to ensure they meet the international standards required.
“SPREP is committed to strengthening our support to the Meteorological Services of Pacific countries; the meteorological services are a key provider of data and information,” said the Director General of SPREP, Mr. David Sheppard.
“We have helped establish a Pacific Meteorological Desk at SPREP with support from the World Meteorology Organization; we are strengthening the opportunities for Pacific meteorology services to network through the Pacific Meteorological Council; and now we are helping our meteorology services address the important issue of quality management and assessment of standards in the aviation industry.”
The FINPAC project under which this one week workshop is coordinated, aims at reducing the vulnerability of the Pacific Island livelihoods to the effects of climate change. Through this four-year project there will be an improved capacity of Pacific Island National Meteorological and Hydrological services to deliver weather information and climate change early warning services in cooperation with and for the benefit of villagers in Pacific communities.
“Of course aviation is critical to the day to day life in the Pacific. Apart from connecting the far flung islands of the region to one another, it is the primary means by which tourists reach the Pacific islands, and tourism is a key part of our economy,” said Mr. Neville Koop, SPREP’s Meteorology and Climatology Adviser.
“So this workshop, while technical and a little dry in its content, is nevertheless important as it demonstrates that our weather services are working in partnership with our aviation industry to ensure we maintain the same standards as that of the bigger regional countries such as Australia, New Zealand and the United States. So it is not a stretch to say that this workshop is critical to the economic well being of the region.”
This workshop is funded by the government of Finland as part of the FINPAC project to develop meteorological services in the region. The Australian Bureau of Meteorology provided the services of their principal forecaster responsible for aviation weather competency standards.
It is held at the SPREP compound in Apia Samoa from 22 to 26 July, 2013. For more information please contact Mr. Neville Koop, Meteorology and Climatology Adviser –