Seychelles National Meteorological Services
Personnel from the meteorological services, Seychelles Civil Aviation Authority (SCAA), the environment department, the division of risk and disaster management (DRDM) and other related services held a half-day workshop recently to mark the implementation of the national met services (NMS) quality management system.
The NMS has from its humble beginning in Seychelles, moved from the seaport to Pointe Larue, with the opening of the airport in 1971 and expanded its activities in upper air observation, ozone monitoring, marine meteorology, climate studies and others.
In his presentation, NMS director Selvan Pillay said the main objective of the met station is to provide cost-effective meteorological service to the aviation industry and ensure high levels of safety, effective and efficient aviation operations, thus enhancing customer satisfaction and meeting international obligations.
Mr Pillay noted that in 2007, the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) after auditing the SCCA came up with several recommendations. These included having a better security system at the airport and more water storage installed along the perimeter of the airport runway for the fire Services and above all an updated meteorological services.
Mr Pillay said equipment and software were purchased and staff trained both locally and overseas. The Meteorological Act has also been amended.
He said benefits of quality management include ensuring customers’ expectations are satisfied; greater confidence in the met services from users and continually improving performance.
The director general of climate affairs and adaptation information, Alain de Commarmond, said the national meteorological services has also established an early warning system for bad weather and tsunamis with new technologies, but also with a group of experienced and well-trained personnel.
“Our multi-hazard early warning system is also functional and can only get better with the close collaboration of the DRDM,” said Mr De Commarmond, who added that the country’s climate unit is one of a few in continental Africa with a good database of more than 30 years of climatic data stored in proper format system and representing more than 15 weather parameters.
He also noted that our seasonal weather forecast has improved and today, we understand the climate patterns of Seychelles better than before and are able to disseminate it to relevant national stakeholders.
According to Mer De Commarmond our ozone unit is another success story. After years of hard work, this unit is well established and is implementing all international commitments against the depletion and protection of the ozone layer.
He said that following the ICAO audit of the SCCA in 2007, recommendations were made to ensure meteorologial services and products provided to the aviation sector meet required international standards.
After the audit, the national meteorological services embarked on a very comprehensive programme to implement the recommendations. The programme was made up of three main components – first was to bring in an expert from abroad to help set up a quality management system (QMS); secondly, to improve skills of weather forecasters, observers and technicians; and finally to re-look at the status of the appropriate equipments needed for the job.
“I’m proud to say that with the support of the government and one of our main stakeholders – the SCAA – we have been able to make good progress in achieving all the three big objectives.”