2018 CEO Letter to Shareholders: A Call to Action on the Environment

2018 CEO Letter to Shareholders: A Call to Action on the Environment

December 12, 1018

Subject: Sunny with a 100% Chance of Batteries—A Call to Action on the Environment.

Dear Shareholders and Interested Parties;

You probably know that every day Environment Canada launches weather balloons into the upper atmosphere to gather vital weather data.

But did you know that each weather balloon is equipped with a radiosonde, a package of electronics, sensors and batteries weighing about 100g? This radiosonde collects information on the weather conditions as the balloon ascends. After the data is transmitted, the balloons burst and these components are dropped far and wide and are almost never recovered. Environment Canada says that the data is critical, but that the cost to recover the radiosondes hardware is too high.

A passenger jet prepares for landing in heavy snowfall.

According to the CBC’s December 5th report, 62 balloons a day are released from 30 locations across Canada to collect critical weather data. This means 22,630 drops per year of batteries (some radiosondes require two toxic lithium-ion, others required six alkaline), sensors and packaging are littering our remote forests and rivers. You can read the CBC report here:

There is an ALTERNATIVE to all this electronic waste
FLYHTWeather™ features the TAMDAR™ (Tropospheric Airborne Meteorological Data Reporting) Weather Sensor. TAMDAR, currently installed on 200 commercial aircraft, measures and collects temperature, pressure, humidity, icing, winds aloft, and turbulence. It bundles this data with GPS data and transmits it in real-time over satellite networks, to be used to update weather models. This collection is like the information collected from worldwide weather balloons but is reported in real-time and without the e-waste.

TAMDAR sensor

The picture to the right shows the external installation of TAMDAR on an AirAsia aircraft.

Here’s how FLYHT can help reduce this e-waste
With an average 500,000* aircraft take-offs and landings per month at the 91 Canadian airports with NAV CANADA air traffic control towers, installing TAMDAR on even a fraction of those aircraft fleets could increase the number of weather observations relayed to Environment Canada exponentially. It’s easy to see that the reduction in e-waste could be substantial—the need to retrieve such waste would be eliminated, and the resulting data more frequent and accurate.

The cost to install these solutions and deliver the data is a fraction of the cost of the $17-million-per-year cost of the Upper Air Observation Program.

Want to see Environment Canada reduce this e-waste?
They are considering alternatives, so here’s what you can do.

We urge you to:

    1. Contact your own Member of Parliament
    2. Contact Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change of Canada: Catherine.McKenna@parl.gc.ca
    3. Contact Environment Canada: ec.enviroinfo.ec@canada.ca

And tell them about FLYHTWeather and TAMDAR.

Should you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.


Thomas R. Schmutz



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