FAA's Blakey: Better Icing Info Coming Soon

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General aviation pilots will soon have access to new icing forecasts, FAA Administrator Marion Blakey said on Tuesday. The Current Icing Product Severity tool, which has been in testing and development for a few years, will be fully operational in two months or less, she said, in time for much of this icing season. "This product combines observations from satellite, radar, surface, lightning networks and pilot weather reports with model output to provide a detailed, hourly, three-dimensional diagnosis of in-flight icing conditions and potential for super-cooled liquid droplets," Blakey said. Speaking at the Washington, D.C., Aero Club on Tuesday, Blakey also described other weather-enhancement programs in the works. The Collaborative Convective Forecast Product, which has been around for a few years, puts out a forecast every two hours from March through October, Blakey said. Those forecasts now look out about six hours, but will be expanded to eight. Other projects will improve the collection, analysis and dissemination of weather data. Providing better weather forecasts is an important part of creating a next-generation air traffic system, Blakey said.