Air Transport World

Airline Technology Management Northwest Airlines.(Brief Article)

In an era in which the airline industry has outsourced many of the technological and engineering activities hitherto considered as "core competencies," Northwest Airlines' decision to operate an in-house meteorology department and its development of the Turbulence Plot System deserve recognition for the additional layer of safety they provide to its customers and flight crews.

In-house meteorology departments are relatively rare among the world's airlines and NWA may operate the largest, with 19 people in Minneapolis and nine in Tokyo. More than half of the staff have more than 10 years experience at the airline.

This investment pays off in safer flying. Using the copyrighted TPS, Northwest meteorologists, dispatchers and flight crews have achieved a turbulence avoidance record that is the envy of the industry. …

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