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The word VOLMET is derived from the French words "vol" (flight) and "météo" (weather). The purpose of a VOLMET broadcast is to provide weather information to aircraft in flight.
VOLMET reports are broadcast principally over high frequency (HF) radio by a number of civil and military stations located around the world. This global network is divided into regions with each region having a number of VOLMET broadcast stations which all broadcast on the same frequency(s). In some regions, such as Europe, there are also a number of stations which provide VOLMET broadcasts on very high frequency (VHF) radio. In both cases, the station will use automated voice transmission to broadcast TAF, SIGMET and Meteorological Terminal Air Report (METAR) information for a published list of aerodromes. VHF stations normally broadcast their information in a continuous loop updating the information as changes occur. HF VOLMET stations generally broadcast on a published schedule with five minute intervals allocated to each station, thus preventing overlapping transmission on the same frequency. Here is a portion of a HF VOLMET broadcast.
A listing of VOLMET broadcasts by provider, inclusive of broadcast time, frequency(s) and a list of aerodromes for which information is provided, can be found in the appropriate enroute supplements for the region in question.
With the ever increasing availability of SATCOM and Data Link equipment such as ACARS, the reliance on VOLMET is diminishing. None the less, it is anticipated that VOLMET stations will continue to broadcast inflight weather information in the coming years.
- Hazardous Inflight Weather Advisory Service (HIWAS)
- Automatic Terminal Information Service (ATIS)
- Automated Weather Observing System (AWOS)