The Project duration is extended until 30.6.2021.
Due to unforeseen circumstances arisen from COVID-19 pandemic, the project duration is extended until 30/06/2021.
The main ground for the extension is the partners’ inability to organize a Joint Level Workshop (JLW) for forecasters in person.
The main results of the project will be:
- Tested and validated eGAFOR prototype (software for creating eGAFOR forecast and displaying it to users)
- Trained personnel (forecasters)
- Informed end-users (general aviation pilots)
Since trained personnel is crucial for successful forecasting, JLW is essential for the successful completion of the project. Forecasters usually work alone or with co-workers, and because of that, the main challenge is to train forecasters from different countries to work collaboratively and simultaneously. Experience has shown us that people collaborate more effectively if they know each other. JLW in person would be a perfect opportunity for all the forecasters from all the partner countries to meet. JLW was planned to take place close to the end of „WP4 – Training“, in October-November 2020. However, due to the pandemic, it was impossible to organize JLW in person last autumn. Hopefully, it will be possible to organize it in April or May 2021.
We are aware that there is a risk that it would not be possible to hold JLW in person even in spring 2021. In that case, the mitigation will be to hold a virtual JLW. Virtual JLW is a suboptimal solution, but in our opinion, it would be a shame not to complete the project and launch eGAFOR operationally next summer, because the most of general aviation flights take place in summer.
An additional consequence of the pandemic is that there were no airshows or other events on which the partners would be able to promote the Project. Hopefully, it would change next year and the partners would be able to promote the Project on airshows that typically start in late spring. If that will not be possible, the partners will promote the Project only by video material uploaded to Youtube.
Although the eGAFOR prototype is completed, Work Package 3 – eGAFOR system development is extended until 31/05/2021. The reason for that is the final testing of the system which will occur during the JLW (forecasters will issue the forecast, and the selected GA pilots will validate the product).