2022 Testbed Exercise for Aviation

September 20-22, the Space Weather Prediction Center held our inaugural Space Weather Prediction Testbed Exercise. This 3-day event brought together representatives from all the major airline companies, including Flight Operations, Flight Safety, Dispatch, Meteorology, Pilots Union Air Traffic Management and Communications Groups; Space Weather Operations and Scientists from the USA, Canada, and the UK; and Commercial Service Providers. The main objectives of the Testbed Exercise were to better prepare the aviation community for the upcoming solar maximum; to better understand the airlines’ operational procedures responding to space weather alerts and warnings; to communicate the requirements and limitations based on the current space weather tools, and to explore future capabilities in support of the needs of the aviation community. This inaugural Testbed Exercise was an essential step in SWPC’s plans to develop a fully functional Space Weather Prediction Testbed. The Testbed Exercise and Exercise explained and assessed the current aviation products and services at SWPC (both International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and SWPC products) in order to help identify priorities and improvements that can be implemented in the future. In total, we had 50 in-person and 40 virtual participants attend this event, most of whom were external to SWPC. Within NOAA, participants from the Aviation Weather Center (AWC), the Social, Behavioral, and Economic Science Program (SBES), the Performance, Risk, and Social Science Office (PRSSO), and NESDIS contributed to the success of the exercise by providing their diverse perspectives during the discussions.