Please read below the information on the TAF3 Changes taken place for CASA's exams and for (of course) your general use of pre-flight services effective November 5th 2020.

Quick explanation:

At present, a TAF is issued routinely every six hours and amended when standard amendment criteria are
A TAF3 service is a TAF issued routinely every three hours and receives priority, pro-active amendments to
ensure it contains the latest forecast information.
Amendments within the first 3 hours of TAF validity are currently masked by changes in the TTF. The TAF3
will become the primary forecast in the first 3 hours and amended to provide similar responsiveness to
the TTF.

• Issued routinely every 3 hours;
• Kept under continuous weather watch by the responsible aviation meteorologist focusing on the next
5-hours of the:
– validity and timings of probabilities (PROBs) (updated if necessary); and
– validity and timings of TEMPO/INTERs (updated if necessary).
• Issued with minute granularity for FROM (FM) element;
• Provides a forecast valid for 18-30 hours;
• Available at Gold Coast and Hobart airports – upgrading current aviation meteorological services;
• Available 24/7 at Darwin and Canberra airports – upgrading current aviation meteorological services;
• Identical code format as the standard TAF; and
• Stamped with ‘TAF3’ in RMKs section for easy identification

What are the advantages of the TAF3 service?
The TAF3 service will offer many advantages to aviation stakeholders.
• A simpler system. There will be a single accurate forecast available for the aerodrome which is well
known to local & international operators.
• Eliminates any potential ambiguity between the TAF and TTF. Understanding the precedence between
the two different forecasts would no longer be required.
• Eliminate alignment issues. These are currently periods when TAF & TTF are not well aligned due to
the TAF being amended up to an hour after TTF. In the proposed solution, the TAF would be amended
immediately as required.
• Australia will exceed ICAO requirements by providing METARs every half hour, SPECIs as required and a
TAF issued at least every three hours (during TAF3 service hours).
• TAF issued routinely every three hours will be extended to Gold Coast and Hobart. These busy airports
currently have no TTF service.
• TAF issued routinely every three hours will operate 24/7 at Darwin and Canberra where there is
currently no overnight TTF service.

What does ‘updated validity every 6 hours’ mean for the TAF3 service?
The validity of the TAF3 forecast will only be extended every 6 hours regardless of how many TAF3
forecasts are issued within that timeframe.

For example: the following TAF3 forecast is issued and valid from 08/0000z to 09/0600z (30 hours) –

TAF YSSY 072310Z 0800/0906
03018KT 9999 FEW035
FM081000 34010KT 9999 -SHRA SCT035
FM081800 21015G25KT 9999 -SHRA FEW015 SCT025
FM090000 15015KT 9999 FEW030
T 25 26 25 23 Q 1003 1001 1002 1004

The next (scheduled) issue of the TAF3 (3 hours after previous) is issued and valid from 08/0300z to
09/0600z (27 hours) –

TAF YSSY 080210Z 0803/0906
03018KT 9999 FEW035
FM081000 34010KT 9999 -SHRA SCT035
FM081800 21015G25KT 9999 -SHRA FEW015 SCT025
FM090000 15015KT 9999 FEW030
T 26 25 23 21 Q 1001 1002 1004 1006

Only on the next 3 hourly issue (every 6 hours) will the validity revert back to 30 hours, i.e. 0806/0912.

TAF3 Implementation

The Bureau of Meteorology undertook an industry requested review of its Trend Forecast (TTF) services through an extensive, industry-wide consultation process. The aim was to investigate feasible alternative options to TTF that met International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards.

The key recommendation arising was for a three-hourly updated and responsive aerodrome forecast (TAF3) to replace the current Trend Forecast service (TTF).

On 5 November 2020, the TTF services will cease and TAF3 services will commence. The TAF3 service will provide similar responsiveness, accuracy and operational meteorological information as the TTF.

The major civilian airports affected by this change include Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Cairns, Canberra, Darwin, Gold Coast and Hobart. At these locations, the TAF3 service will be provided 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The TAF service provided for all other airports will remain unchanged.

Additionally, TAF3 service will be provided at the following military bases when staffed by Defence decision support meteorologists: Williamtown, Nowra, Tindal, Oakey, Townsville, Pearce, Amberley and East Sale. Aerodrome forecasts will revert to the standard TAF services outside of staffed hours, as per the current practice.

A TAF3 Implementation Working Group (TIWG), consisting of a representative group of aviation stakeholders, has been established to oversee this implementation and maximise awareness of the changes.

Please refer to the following documents for more information on the Trend Review and TAF3 Implementation.

TAF3 FAQ (222KB) − updated 17 September, 2020

TAF3 Brochure (214KB) − updated to 8 September, 2020

TAF3 AIC (187KB) − effective 30 October, 2020

TAF Brochure (270KB) − effective 5 November, 2020

TAF Reference Card (122KB) − effective 5 November, 2020

VOLMET AERIS Business Rules (234KB) − updated 17 September, 2020

Trend Review Final Report (1.3MB) − updated October 25, 2016