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UAE national airline Etihad Airways has partnered with the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology to develop a fog prediction and monitoring system.

The system will provide Etihad Airways’ with forecasts on accurate fog formation and dispersion around Abu Dhabi International Airport, in addition to satellite-based tools for fog detection and tracking.

This will help the airline enhance its air traffic management system.

At present, un-forecasted outbreaks of dense fog creates challenges such as flight delays, flight diversions, personnel disruptions, and traveller disturbance.

"We pride ourselves of being one step ahead of the game, but we needed assistance in developing a more scientific approach to our readiness for fog."

These result in wasted resources and additional costs to the airlines and passengers, and pressure on the airport infrastructure. The new facility will help ward off these problems.

Etihad Airways Network Operations senior vice-president Chris Youlten said: "Following on from the very challenging fog season of winter 2014/15, we made a firm commitment to take our contingency planning to another level that supported the growth of our airline and the airport.

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"We pride ourselves of being one step ahead of the game, but we needed assistance in developing a more scientific approach to our readiness for fog.

"Meteorological forecasting allows for a proactive approach, but even when we are working to a time frame of fog, we can’t see it coming until it is in our midst."

In a separate development, the airways has officially opened a new Crew Briefing Centre (CBC) at its hub in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

The first advanced CBC is equipped with facilities like baggage handling systems, electronic check-in kiosks, security and customs scanning equipment and E-gate facilities for immigration control.

This user-friendly technology will make check-in and briefing processes easier for the 2,250 flight crew and approximately 5,800 cabin crew.

The new facility, which measures approximately 88,264ft² and set over two floors, will be built by the British construction firm McLaren and with support from Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC).

The facility includes 20 fully-equipped pilot and cabin crew briefing rooms, four of which can be joined to accommodate larger Airbus A380 crews.

Image: Etihad Airways Crew Briefing Centre (CBC) will accommodate larger Airbus A380 crews. Photo: courtesy of Richard Vandervord.