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Director-General-level meeting on Collaborative SIGMET Issuance

A Director-General-level meeting on Collaborative SIGMET Issuance involving the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) and five Southeast Asian aeronautical meteorological service providers (the Department of Meteorology and Hydrology of the Lao People's Democratic Republic (LDMH), the Department of Meteorology and Hydrology of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar (MDMH), the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), the Thai Meteorological Department (TMD) and the Viet Nam Air Traffic Management Corporation (VATM)) was held in Tokyo, Japan, from 6 to 7 March 2018. As a result of the discussions held at the meeting, the six organizations adopted a joint statement and established a cooperation scheme on Collaborative SIGMET Issuance (CSI scheme) in the presence of Takao Makino (Japan's State Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism) and representatives of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Asia and Pacific Office and the Japanese Civil Aviation Bureau.

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JMA Director-General Toshihiko Hashida issuing the joint statement as chair of the meeting
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Commemorative photo* for the joint statement issuance

* From left to right:
  Peter Dunda, Regional Officer, Aeronautical Meteorology, ICAO Asia and Pacific Office
  Dr Phuwieng Prakhammintara, Deputy Director-General of TMD
  Dr Kyaw Moe Oo, Director General of MDMH
  Dr Toshihiko Hashida, Director-General of JMA
  Takao Makino, Japan's State Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism
  Khanmany Khounphonh, Director-General of LDMH
  Dr Landrico U. Dalida, Jr., Deputy Administrator for Operations & Services, PAGASA
  Le Quoc Khanh, Deputy Director General of VATM
  Shuji Takahara, Assistant Vice-Minister for International Aviation, Minister's Secretariat, Japan's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism

The six organizations had engaged in various activities for the improvement of SIGMET in consideration of recent discussions held within the ICAO framework with regard to SIGMET discontinuity among multiple Flight Information Regions (FIRs) and user requirements for harmonized and phenomenon-based en-route hazardous weather information. These considerations included the joint development of a coordination procedure incorporating a web platform for information sharing and coordination based on a demonstration project relating to collaborative SIGMET issuance originally launched by JMA, PAGASA and VATM in 2015 and extended to the six organizations. With the cooperation of volunteer aviation users, the organizations verified the effectiveness of the jointly-developed procedure via several fixed-term demonstrations and confirmed to engage in an international initiative called the CSI Scheme.

CSI Scheme participants apply the above procedure in their regular SIGMET issuance operations with scheduling for transition to an operational phase by 9 April 2018. The information sharing and coordination web platform (including online tools/functions and SIGMET Preparation Support Information (SPSI)) developed during the demonstration phase is managed by JMA.

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Left: concept of daily procedures
Center/right: Director-General-level meeting attendees using the web platform

The joint statement also details plans for ongoing collaborative service enhancement among participants based on further improvement of the coordination procedure, the web platform and other considerations toward seamless en-route aviation weather service provision in the region. JMA, as a contributor to the initiative, will continue to support service provision and enhancement via technical cooperation. Such efforts will include the provision of high-resolution Himawari-8 imagery and a variety of products based on data from the satellite, along with the supply of accurate numerical weather prediction (NWP) data via the web platform, and collaboration to improve forecasting capacity in en-route aviation weather services.

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Left: group photo
Right: Director-General-level attendees celebrating CSI Scheme establishment in traditional Japanese style