17 Sep 2009

New standards being introduced to lift Pacific region's meteorological services

3:25 pm on 17 September 2009

New requirements are being introduced in the Pacific region to boost meteorological services to meet international standards.

The Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme, or SPREP, in partnership with the Government of Finland is this week conducting training to assist Pacific countries to meet the new quality management requirements.

Dean Solofa, who is SPREP's Pacific Island Global Climate Observation Systems Officer, says emphasis is being placed on aviation weather predictions as many people rely on air travel between islands.

"The basic reason is to ensure the safety of the general public that all the information produced is accurate, is timely and reaches the people its supposed to get to. But you know, having first and foremost we need to be accurate about the forecasts we deliver for people who are in the aviation transport sector."

Dean Solofa says the International Civil Aviation Organisation and the Royal Meteorological Society, which are imposing the new standards, are aiming for their requirements to be met by 2012.