The story appears on

Page A3

July 14, 2017

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » World

Hot weather to put flights at risk

RISING temperatures due to global warming will make it harder for aircraft to take off in coming decades, a US study warned yesterday.

Scientists say if planet-warming emissions continue unabated, fuel capacities and payload weights will have to be reduced by up to 4 percent on the hottest days.

During the hottest parts of the day, 10-30 percent of fully loaded planes may have to remove some fuel, cargo or passengers, or wait for cooler conditions, said the study published in the journal Climatic Change.

“Weight restrictions may impose a non-trivial cost on airline and impact aviation operations around the world,” said Ethan Coffel, lead author and a Columbia University PhD student.

A 4 percent weight reduction could mean 12 or 13 fewer passengers on an average 160-seat aircraft.

As air warms, it thins and wings generate less lift. A packed plane may be unable to take off safely if temperatures rise too high.

The problem will be particularly prevalent during a heatwave. The study projected annual maximum daily temperatures at airports worldwide to rise 4-8 degrees Celsius by 2080.

Other researchers have already warned that climate change may increase dangerous turbulence and head winds that could lengthen travel times. Rising sea levels are already threatening to swamp some major airports.

American Airlines grounded 43 flights to and from Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport on June 20 due to the heat.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend