SAQA All qualifications and part qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework are public property. Thus the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction. It is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.
SOUTH AFRICAN QUALIFICATIONS AUTHORITY 
REGISTERED UNIT STANDARD: 

Interpret meteorology for aviation 
SAQA US ID UNIT STANDARD TITLE
120042  Interpret meteorology for aviation 
ORIGINATOR
SGB Air Defence 
PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QUALITY ASSURANCE FUNCTIONARY
-  
FIELD SUBFIELD
Field 08 - Law, Military Science and Security Safety in Society 
ABET BAND UNIT STANDARD TYPE PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL CREDITS
Undefined  Regular  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5 
REGISTRATION STATUS REGISTRATION START DATE REGISTRATION END DATE SAQA DECISION NUMBER
Reregistered  2018-07-01  2023-06-30  SAQA 06120/18 
LAST DATE FOR ENROLMENT LAST DATE FOR ACHIEVEMENT
2024-06-30   2027-06-30  

In all of the tables in this document, both the pre-2009 NQF Level and the NQF Level is shown. In the text (purpose statements, qualification rules, etc), any references to NQF Levels are to the pre-2009 levels unless specifically stated otherwise.  

This unit standard does not replace any other unit standard and is not replaced by any other unit standard. 

PURPOSE OF THE UNIT STANDARD 
This unit standard will be utilised by learners who will be required to work in an aviation environment which is affected by meteorology.

A person credited with this unit standard will be able to:
  • Describe the atmosphere in relation to aviation.
  • Demonstrate understanding of wind and pressure systems.
  • Describe the effects of atmospheric water vapour on flight operations.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of air masses, fronts and climatic zones.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of meteorological hazards to aviation.
  • Interpret meteorological information for flight operations.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the impact of aircraft operation on the environment.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of climatology 

  • LEARNING ASSUMED TO BE IN PLACE AND RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING 
  • Mathematics at NQF Level 4.
  • Physical Science at NQF Level 4. 

  • UNIT STANDARD RANGE 
    The terms "aircraft" and "aeroplane" are used as synonyms where appropriate.

    This unit standard is applicable to aircraft engaged in short and medium range flights in all weather conditions.
  • Meteorological information includes but is not limited to synoptic charts, terminal area forecasts (TAF), meteorological area reports (METARS) and significant meteorological phenomena reports (SIGMET). 

  • Specific Outcomes and Assessment Criteria: 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 1 
    Describe the atmosphere in relation to aviation. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The atmosphere is described in terms of its layers and characteristics related to aviation. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Layers include but are not limited to: Troposphere, stratosphere, ionosphere.
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    Thermodynamic concepts are described in terms of their occurrence in the atmosphere. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Thermodynamic concepts include but are not limited to:
  • Adiabatic processes.
  • Radiation, conduction and convection.
  • Specific heat capacity.
  • Stability.
  • Isoclinals.
  • Isotherms.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    Atmospheric pressure is described in terms of its characteristics and indications on charts and instruments. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Pressure characteristics include but are not limited to:
  • Pressure variation with height, temperature and density.
  • Isobaric patterns.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    The application of the International Standard Atmosphere (ISA) is explained in the context of aviation. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    Altimetry calculations are performed in the context of flight operations. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Altimetry concepts include but are not limited to:
  • Terrain clearance, safe flight level.
  • Temperature and pressure influences.
  • Effect of topography.
     

  • SPECIFIC OUTCOME 2 
    Demonstrate understanding of wind and pressure systems. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    Wind conditions are interpreted from meteorological charts and reports. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    Factors which contribute to the occurrence of wind are described in terms of their effect on aviation. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Factors which contribute to the occurrence of winds include but are not limited to:
  • Pressure gradients.
  • Coriolis force.
  • Thermal gradients.
  • Diurnal changes.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    Wind circulation patterns are described in the global and local contexts. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Local circulation patterns refer to but are not limited to:
  • Anabatic and katabatic winds.
  • Land and sea breezes.
  • Venturi effects.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    Turbulence is described in terms of its causation and effects on safe aircraft operations. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    Global pressure systems are described in terms of location, formation and effect on aviation. 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 3 
    Describe the effects of atmospheric water vapour on flight operations. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The influence of atmospheric moisture is described in terms of its influence on meteorological phenomena. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Meteorological phenomena include but are not limited to:
  • Humidity.
  • Dewpoint.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    Changes in the state of atmospheric moisture are described in terms of their impacts on atmospheric phenomena. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Impact of changes includes but is not limited to:
  • Heat transfer.
  • Atmospheric stability.
  • Lapse rates.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    Cloud types are described in terms of standard meteorological classification and impact on flight operations. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    Fog types are described in terms of standard meteorological classification and impact on flight operations. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    Types of fog formation are identified and their resultant effects on visibility are described. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 6 
    Precipitation types are identified in terms of standard meteorological classification and impact on flight operations. 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 4 
    Demonstrate an understanding of airmasses, fronts and climatic zones. 
    OUTCOME RANGE 
    Fronts include but are not limited to: cold, warm, occluded fronts. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    Identified air masses are described in terms of their characteristics and factors affecting the properties. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    Identified fronts are explained in terms of formation, movement and life cycles. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    Frontal weather phenomena are described in terms of their impact on flying conditions. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    Climatic zones are described in terms of their influence on regional weather. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Climatic zones refer to: tropical zones and mid-latitude zones.
     

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 5 
    Demonstrate an understanding of climatology. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    Climatic zones are described in terms of their influence on regional weather. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Climate zones refer to:
  • Tropical climatology.
  • Mid-latitude climatology.
     

  • SPECIFIC OUTCOME 6 
    Demonstrate an understanding of meteorological hazards to aviation. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    Aircraft icing is described in terms of causative weather conditions and its effects on aircraft performance. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Aircraft icing include: wing icing, hoar frost, rime ice, clear ice and freezing rain.
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    Turbulence and windshear are described in terms of causative conditions, identifiable features and associated hazards. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    Hazardous winds are described in terms of their formation and impact on aviation. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Hazardous winds include but are not limited to:
  • Jet streams.
  • Standing waves.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    Tropical revolving storms (TRS) are discussed in terms of their impact on flying conditions and avoidance techniques. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    Thunderstorms are described in terms of causative conditions, identifiable features, associated hazards and precautions. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 6 
    Flying in mountainous areas is discussed in terms of the hazards and precautions required for flight safety. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 7 
    Visibility is discussed in terms of measurements and factors affecting visibility. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
  • Visibility: includes but is not limited to day, night, vertical and slant range, runway visual range.
  • Factors: include but are not limited to smog, haze, glare, precipitation, sun position, fog.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 8 
    Localised meteorological phenomena are described in terms of their associated hazards for aviation. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Localised meteorological phenomena include but are not limited to:
  • Tornadoes.
  • High and low level inversions, stratospheric conditions.
  • Lightning strikes.
  • Micro bursts.
  • Ozone.
  • Cosmic radiation.
     

  • SPECIFIC OUTCOME 7 
    Interpret meteorological information for flight operations. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    Sources and their methods of collection of meteorological information are described in terms of the types of observations and meteorological services. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Sources refer to:
  • South African Weather Service.
  • World Meteorology Organisation.

    Methods of collection include:
  • Ground observations.
  • Automatic stations.
  • Airborne observations.
  • Satellite imagery.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    Identified types of meteorological reports and forecasts are interpreted for safe flight operations. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    Identified aviation meteorological charts and bulletins are interpreted for flight operations. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    These charts and bulletins include information on:
  • Cloud cover.
  • Fronts.
  • Airmasses.
  • Visibility.
  • Icing.
  • Turbulence.
     

  • SPECIFIC OUTCOME 8 
    Demonstrate an understanding of the impact of aircraft operation on the environment. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The characteristics of aircraft noise are described in terms of their characteristics and impact on the environment. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Aircraft noise characteristics include but are not limited to:
  • Intensity.
  • Frequency.
  • Sources.
  • Measurement.
     

  • ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    Engine emissions are described in terms of their composition and effect on the atmosphere. 


    UNIT STANDARD ACCREDITATION AND MODERATION OPTIONS 
  • An individual wishing to be assessed (including through RPL) against this Unit Standard may apply to an assessment agency, assessor or provider institution accredited by the relevant ETQA, or an ETQA that has a Memorandum of Understanding with the relevant ETQA.
  • Anyone assessing a learner against this Unit Standard must be registered as an assessor with the relevant ETQA or with an ETQA that has a Memorandum of Understanding with the relevant ETQA.
  • Any institution offering learning that will enable achievement of this Unit Standard or assessing this Unit Standard must be accredited as a provider with the relevant ETQA or with an ETQA that has a Memorandum of Understanding with the relevant ETQA. 

  • UNIT STANDARD ESSENTIAL EMBEDDED KNOWLEDGE 
    The atmosphere
    Composition, extent, vertical division
  • Temperature.
  • Vertical distribution of temperature.
  • Transfer of heat.
  • Lapse rates, stability and instability.
  • Development of inversions, types of inversions.
  • Temperature near the earth's surface, surface effects, diurnal variation, effect of clouds, effect of wind.

    Atmospheric pressure
  • Barometric pressure, isobars.
  • Pressure variation with height.
  • Reduction of pressure, temperature and density.
  • Surface low/upper-air low, surface high/upper air high.

    Atmospheric density
  • Interrelationship between pressure, temperature and density.
  • International Standard Atmosphere.

    Altimetry
  • Pressure altitude, density altitude, true altitude.
  • Height, altitude, flight level.
  • QNH, QFE, QNE.
  • Calculation of terrain clearance, lowest usable flight level, rule of thumb for temperature and pressure influences.
  • Effect of accelerated airflow due to topography.

    Wind
  • Definition and measurement of wind.
  • Primary cause of wind.
  • Relationship between isobars and wind.
  • Effects of convergence and divergence.
  • General global circulation pattern.
  • Thermal winds.
  • Turbulence and gustiness, types of turbulence.
  • Origin and location of turbulene.
  • Variation of wind with height.
  • Variation of wind in the friction layers.
  • Variation of the wind caused by fronts.
  • Local winds: anabatic and katabatic winds, land and sea breezes, venturi effects.
  • Hazardous winds: jet streams and standing waves.

    Humidity, clouds, fog and precipitation
    Humidity
  • Water vapour in the atmosphere.
  • Temperature/dewpoint, mixing ratio, relative humidity.
  • Change of state of aggregation.
  • Condensation, evaporation, sublimation, freezing and melting, latent heat

    Adiabatic processes
    Clouds and fog
  • Cloud formation and description.
  • Cooling by adiabatic expansion and by advection.
  • Cloud types and cloud classification.
  • Influence of inversions on cloud development.
  • Flying conditions in each cloud type.

    Fog, mist, haze
  • Radiation, advection, steaming, frontal, orographic fog.

    Precipitation
  • Development of precipitation.
  • Types of precipitation, relationship with cloud types.

    Airmasses and fronts
  • Description, factors affecting the properties of an airmass.
  • Classification of airmasses, modifications of airmasses, areas of origin.

    Fronts
  • Boundaries between airmasses, general situation, geographic differentiation, fronts.
  • Warm front, associated clouds and weather.
  • Cold front, associated clouds and weather.
  • Warm sector, associated clouds and weather.
  • Weather behind the cold front.
  • Occlusions, associated clouds and weather.
  • Stationary front, associated clouds and weather.
  • Movement of fronts and pressure systems, life cycle.

    Pressure systems
  • Location of the principal pressure areas.
  • Anticyclones, types, general properties, cold and warm anticyclones, ridges and wedges, subsidence.
  • Non-frontal depressions: thermal, orographic and secondary depressions, cold air pools, troughs.
  • Tropical revolving storms (TRS): development, original and local names, location and period of occurrence.

    Climatology
  • Climatic zones.
  • Tropical climatology.
  • Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ), weather in the ITCZ, general seasonal movement.
  • Climatic elements relative to the area (monsoon, tradewinds, sandstorms, cold air outbreaks).
  • Easterly waves.
  • Typical weather situations in the mid-latitudes.
  • Cold pool.
  • Local seasonal weather and wind (Foehn, Mistral, Bora, Sirocco, Harmattan, Ghibbli and Pampero, berg winds, westerly buster).

    Flight Hazards
  • Icing - types of ice accretion and hazards of ice accretion, avoidande
  • Turbulence - effects on flight, avoidance, CAT, effects on flight.
  • Wind Shear - weather conditions for vertical windshears, weather conditions for horizontal windshears, effects on flight.
  • Thunderstorms
  • Tornadoes - occurrence
  • Low and high level inversions.
  • Stratospheric conditions.
  • Effect of ozone, radioactivity.
  • Hazards in mountainous areas.
  • Influence of terrain on clouds and precipitation, frontal passage.
  • Vertical movements, mountainwave, windshear, turbulence, ice accretion.
  • Development and effect of valley inversions.

    Visibility reducing phenomena
  • Reduction of visibility caused by mist, smoke, dust, sand and precipitation.
  • Reduction of visibility caused by low drifting and blowing snow.

    Meteorological Information

    Observation
  • On the ground.
  • Cloud.
  • Weather.
  • Upper air observations.
  • Satellite observations and interpretation.
  • Weather radar observations ground and airborne and interpretation.
  • Aircraft observations and reporting, data link systems, PIREPS.

    Meteorological organisations
  • World Meteorological Organisation.
  • Regional Forecasting Offices
  • Weather stations.

    Weather Charts
  • Charts of significant weather, tropopause, maximum wind.
  • Surface charts.
  • Upper air charts.
  • Symbols and signs on analysed and prognostic charts.

    Information for flight planning
  • Aeronautical codes.
  • Meteorological broadcasts for aviation.
  • Content and use of pre-flight meteorological documents.
  • Meteorological briefing and advice.
  • Measuring and warning systems for low level windshear, inversion.
  • Special meteorological warnings.
  • Information for computer flight planning.

    Environment
  • Noise measurement and perception.
  • Noise zones.
  • Aircraft noise footprints.
  • Noise abatement strategies.
  • Products of combustion.
  • Emission reduction strategies. 

  • UNIT STANDARD DEVELOPMENTAL OUTCOME 
    N/A 

    UNIT STANDARD LINKAGES 
    N/A 


    Critical Cross-field Outcomes (CCFO): 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO IDENTIFYING 
    The learner is able to identify and solve problems in which responses display that responsible decisions using critical and creative thinking have been made by:
  • Understanding the impact of forecasted weather on flight planning and in-flight operations.
  • Understanding techniques for managing flights in response to changing meteorological conditions to ensure safe and efficient flight.
  • Understanding the effects of surface meteorological conditions on aeroplane performance. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO WORKING 
    Work effectively with others as a member of a team, group, organisation or community by:
  • Obtaining meteorological information from appropriate sources.
  • Reporting meteorological information to relevant roleplayers. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO ORGANISING 
    Organise and manage oneself and one's activities responsibly and effectively by:
  • Recognising the need to set aside sufficient time to conduct pre-flight planning and ensuring all meteorological information is taken into account during pre-flight planning processes. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO COLLECTING 
    Collect, analyse and critically evaluate information by:
  • Analysing and applying meteorological information in order to make decisions on the impact of the weather on the flight. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO COMMUNICATING 
    Communicate effectively using visual, mathematical and/or language skills in the modes of oral and/or written persuasion by:
  • Using appropriate communication techniques to obtain meteorological information.

    Techniques include but are not limited to:
  • Face-to-face briefings.
  • Telephone briefings.
  • Accessing electronic media. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO SCIENCE 
    Use science and technology effectively and critically, showing responsibility towards the environment and health of others by:
  • Understanding the impact of meteorological phenomena on flight and knowing the appropriate techniques for avoiding hazards. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO DEMONSTRATING 
    Demonstrate an understanding of the world as a set of related systems by recognising that problem-solving contexts do not exist in isolation:
  • The importance of taking all aspects of the weather into account when planning for flight and performing flight operations. 

  • UNIT STANDARD ASSESSOR CRITERIA 
    N/A 

    REREGISTRATION HISTORY 
    As per the SAQA Board decision/s at that time, this unit standard was Reregistered in 2012; 2015. 

    UNIT STANDARD NOTES 
    Terminology:

    QNH: Altimeter subscale setting to cause display of altitude (above sea level)
    QFE: Altimeter subscale setting to cause display of height (above ground)
    QNE: Standard Altimeter Setting of 1013.25hPa
    PIREPS: Pilot Reports

    Abbreviations:

    METARS: Meteorological Area Reports
    SIGMET: Significant Meteorological Phenomena Reports
    TAF: Terminal Area Forecasts
    ISA: International Standard Atmosphere
    TRS: Tropical Revolving Storms
    ITCZ: Intertropical Convergence Zone 

    QUALIFICATIONS UTILISING THIS UNIT STANDARD: 
      ID QUALIFICATION TITLE PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL STATUS END DATE PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QA FUNCTIONARY
    Core  58581   National Certificate: Air Traffic Support  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  Reregistered  2023-06-30  TETA 
    Core  59256   National Diploma: Flight Dispatch  Level 5  NQF Level 05  Passed the End Date -
    Status was "Reregistered" 
    2016-12-31  TETA 
    Core  66109   National Diploma: Aircraft Performance Engineering  Level 6  NQF Level 06  Passed the End Date -
    Status was "Reregistered" 
    2016-12-31  TETA 
    Fundamental  63309   National Certificate: Defensive Mission Control  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  Reregistered  2023-06-30  SAS SETA 
    Fundamental  49950   National Certificate: Navigation  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  Passed the End Date -
    Status was "Reregistered" 
    2015-06-30  TETA 
    Fundamental  60549   National Diploma: Aeronautical Information Management Practice  Level 5  NQF Level 05  Passed the End Date -
    Status was "Reregistered" 
    2016-12-31  TETA 
    Fundamental  58023   National Diploma: Aircraft Piloting  Level 5  NQF Level 05  Passed the End Date -
    Status was "Reregistered" 
    2016-12-31  TETA 
    Fundamental  49853   National Diploma: Defensive Mission Control  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  Passed the End Date -
    Status was "Registered" 
    2008-09-17  Was SAS SETA until Last Date for Achievement 
    Elective  49852   National Diploma: Applied Military Intelligence  Level 5  NQF Level 05  Reregistered  2023-06-30  SAS SETA 
    Elective  50500   National Diploma: Electronic Warfare  Level 5  NQF Level 05  Reregistered  2023-06-30  SAS SETA 


    PROVIDERS CURRENTLY ACCREDITED TO OFFER THIS UNIT STANDARD: 
    This information shows the current accreditations (i.e. those not past their accreditation end dates), and is the most complete record available to SAQA as of today. Some Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionaries have a lag in their recording systems for provider accreditation, in turn leading to a lag in notifying SAQA of all the providers that they have accredited to offer qualifications and unit standards, as well as any extensions to accreditation end dates. The relevant Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionary should be notified if a record appears to be missing from here.
     
    1. Aviation Training Academy 
    2. Westline Aviation Pty Ltd 



    All qualifications and part qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework are public property. Thus the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction. It is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.