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TAFs (terminal aerodrome forecast) have different durations. Some forecasts 30 hours into the future while others forecasts only 24 hours. But what is the shortest and longest TAFs? and how often are TAFs updated?

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First you will need to learn to decode the TAF's validity period.

TAF YMAY 022230Z 0300/0312 35010KT CAVOK FM030800 31018KT 9999 SHRA BKN025 OVC100 INTER 0308/0312 31020G40KT 3000 +TSRA BKN010 SCT040CB RMK FM030600 MOD TURB BLW 5000FT T 23 24 28 33 Q 1012 1013 1014 1009

The validity of this TAF (in bold) is formatted as ddhh/ddhh.

Validity period of TAF is from 0000 to 1200, on the 3rd day of the month UTC

From here we can see that it's valid for 12 hours.

Another example:

TAF COR YMLT 212240Z 2200/2218 31015G28KT 6000 -RA BKN010 OVC100 TEMPO 2209/2218 2000 +TSRA BKN005 SCT040CB RMK T 25 21 18 15 Q 1014 1013 1013 1011

Validity period of TAF is from 0000 until 1800 on the 22nd of the month UTC

This one is valid for 18 hours.

You may check your country's AIP for how often they are updated.

For instance, in Australia, GEN 3.5 - 5 describes the routine TAF service based on airport size.


A International: Issued 6 hourly, valid for 24 or 30 hours. Commencement times 00, 06, 12 and 18 UTC.


B Large: Passengers > 150 000 or Movements > 75,000 Issued 6 hourly, valid for 12 or 18 hours. Commencement times 00, 06, 12 and 18 UTC.


C Medium: Passengers > 50,000 or Movements > 10,000 Issued 6 hourly, typically valid for 12 hours. Commencement times are 02, 08, 14 and/or 20 UTC, except in Western Australia where commencement times are 04, 10, 16 and/or 22 UTC.


D Small: Aerodromes meeting passenger and movement thresholds, or other operational criteria. Issued 6 or 12 hourly, valid for up to 12 hours. Commencement times are typically 20 and/or 02 UTC, except in Western Australia where commencement times are typically 22 and/or 04 UTC.


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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for this additional info about Australia @shogunnyan. But i found what i was looking for in ICAO annex 3, part 6.2.6 nevertheless thank you for the answer. :D $\endgroup$ – Aget Aviano May 21 '19 at 13:45

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