Nice Côte d'Azur Airport boosts performance with one of Europe's most powerful wind shear radars

Published on 31-05-21

The exceptional geographical location of the Nice Côte d'Azur airport means it is regularly subject to extreme wind shear. Now it benefits from one of the most powerful lidars in Europe, acquired by Météo France from Japanese manufacturer Mitsubishi Electric Corporation. This new system complements our existing observation system and improves aircraft and passenger safety.

Due to its proximity to the sea, the mountains and the Var plain, Nice Côte d'Azur airport is subject to sudden fluctuations in wind direction which can lead to difficulties, especially during the landing phase. In 2014, in an effort to improve the safety and performance of flight operations, Météo France acquired and commissioned an X-band radar capable of detecting these wind shear variations within clouds and raindrops. However, effective dry weather equipment was still needed. The new Doppler Lidar laser radar bridges this gap, following the movement of aerosols suspended in the lower layers of the atmosphere to measure wind using the Doppler effect. This lidar takes measurements that enable aviation forecasters to anticipate the effects of shear and turbulence up to 10 minutes in advance. Precious time, as it allows pilots to adapt approach and take-off manoeuvres.

One of the best equipped plateform in Europe

This state-of-the-art lidar has been provided by Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, who have already deployed it at a number of airports in Japan and South East Asia. The new device and its use by Météo France make our Nice platform the best equipped in Europe in terms of wind shear detection, and the only one equipped with such a powerful lidar.
“We would like to thank Météo France for acquiring and implementing this lidar, which improves both aircraft and crew safety and passenger comfort while enhancing the performance of our Nice hub," explains Franck Goldnadel, Chairman of the Board of Aéroports de la Côte d'Azur.