News & Press Release
Weathernews to conclude agreement on sharing information such as Air Medical Services helicopters and fire, search and rescue helicopters
Accelerating rescue activities through four-way coordination with the National Hospital Organization Disaster Medical Center, helicopter operators and JAXAAviation >
Weathernews Inc. (head office: Mihama-ku, Chiba-shi, Japan; CEO: Chihito Kusabiraki) has concluded an agreement with the National Hospital Organization Disaster Medical Center, twelve domestic Air Medical services helicopter operators represented by Aero Asahi Corporation, and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Age will ncy (JAXA) to share position information of EMS, fire, search and rescue helicopters when disasters occur. When the Kumamoto earthquake occurred in April 2016, Weathernews cooperated with the relevant organizations to support safe and efficient disaster rescue activities by creating an environment enabling the central management of EMS, fire, search and rescue helicopter position information combined with weather information in the Disaster Management Headquarters as well as areas where disaster medical assistance teams (DMAT) were deployed. The agreement was concluded to strengthen coordination based on the rescue track record established in the Kumamoto earthquake. The four parties smoothly coordinate to support swift transportation and aeromedical activities when disasters occur.
FOSTER-CoPilot real-time aircraft position monitoring system introduced in 90% of Air Medical services helicopters nationwide
In 2012, Weathernews developed FOSTER-CoPilot, Japan’s first carry-on dynamic management system to enable safe and efficient flight management through tracking of aircraft position, which had been an issue for the operation of helicopters for many years. Aircraft position can be tracked with FOSTER-CoPilot and this tracking information can be viewed and overlaid with various weather layers on FOSTER-GA, a browser based aviation weather software. FOSTER-CoPilot is available at a reasonable cost and does not require any modifications to the aircraft; in addition, it has been implemented in 90% of doctor helicopters nationwide.
Agreement on coordination with the National Hospital Organization Disaster Medical Center, helicopter operators and JAXA
When the Kumamoto earthquake occurred in April 2016, Weathernews worked with the relevant organizations to provide a centralized display of the position information of Air Medical services helicopters equipped with FOSTER-CoPilot as well as position information of fire, search and rescue helicopters equipped with the Disaster Relief Aircraft Information Sharing Network (D-NET) operation management system developed by JAXA. Through FOSTER-GA, data was shared with the Disaster Management Headquarters and disaster medical assistance teams (DMAT). Doctor Motomura from Chiba Hokusoh Hospital, who conducted medical activities on site during the disaster informed us that our efforts were very effective in terms improving the speed and efficiency of safe flight operations and disaster relief activities, and sharing information among organizations.
Based on the track record established in the Kumamoto earthquake, Weathernews, the National Hospital Organization Disaster Medical Center, helicopter operators and JAXA concluded an “Agreement on Sharing Doctor Helicopter and Fire and Rescue Helicopter Positional Information” Along with Aero Asahi Corporation, which represents helicopter operators, eleven Air Medical services helicopter operators in Japan have consented to the agreement, and will proceed to share information. Because the approval of the four parties (National Hospital Organization Disaster Medical Center, twelve domestic Air Medical Services helicopter operators represented by Aero Asahi Corporation, JAXA, and Weathernews) was previously required each time a disaster occurred, the conclusion of the agreement will enable faster coordination of initial actions to be taken after the occurrence of a disaster.
Weathernews aims to improve the safety and efficiency of helicopter operations under normal conditions, and will also be engaged in the support of aeromedical evacuations and quick response rescue activities when disasters occur.