Flight in clouds

5 Consequences Climate Change will have on the Aviation Industry

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

According to scientists, the shifting climate change will have a considerable impact on aviation. And unfortunately, this will be a negative one for travellers.

More cancellations and delays

Last June, American Airlines had to cancel dozens of flights from Phoenix, Arizona because it was too hot to fly. With temperatures above 48 degrees, smaller airplanes weren’t able to leave the runway. Due to hot air being thinner, it is harder for smaller devices to get off of the ground without cooler air giving them a boost.

More turbulence

We also have some bad news for nervous passengers. A new study by University of Reading predicts that by 2050, the number of turbulent impacts will triple. According to Paul Williams, Professor of Atmospheric Science, turbulence rises all of the world, at various heights and is affected by the different seasons. This problem will only worsen as the climate changes.

5 gevolgen van klimaatveranderingen in de luchtvaart

The research team then recommends that we use better weather forecasts so that passengers can be warned on time and put on their safety belts. Boeing is currently testing a laser technique whereby pilots can detect turbulence from 15 kilometres away. With this technique, pilots have approximately 60 seconds to warn the cabin crew and passengers.

Jet fuel usage

The temperature will also affect the total length of flight times on long-haul flights. Due to unstable wind currents, flights will have to be longer up in the air. While this in itself is rather minimal, it will mean that airplanes will have to use even more jet fuel per flight.

Longer runways

As previously mentioned, higher temperatures cause aircrafts to take off more difficulty. Airports with short runways will then face major problems. A consequence of temperatures rising and short runways is that airlines will need to fly lighter and thus bring along less passengers. There is a somewhat easy solution to this problem however. In the long term, airports will have to rebuild and lengthen their runway lanes.

More expensive tickets

Damage and delays caused by turmoil cost airlines on average between 125 and 425 million Euros each year. In addition to the extra jet fuel consumption due to strong winds, we can ultimately expect more expensive airline tickets.

So in addition to the ongoing price war on ticket prices that airlines already have, climate change will also be a major issue in aviation which will cause problems for both airlines and passengers.