For aviation, weather is a constant that influences decisively the industry’s welfare. We only have to look some basic data and statistics to understand its serious impact on the efficiency of airport operations. Weather is the main cause for delays, a contributing factor for accidents and initiator of many operational problems. We have to understand that even though weather and climate are associated nonetheless, the two are not the same thing. Put simply, weather is the condition(s) of the atmosphere at any given place and time. Climate on the other hand, is the average weather within an region or, in an area for longer periods.
Now, as people hear frequently about the weather getting more ‘explosive’, naturally they become increasingly troubled. Inevitably they start thinking of the impact of meteorological conditions over aviation and how weather-related events will affect them. Will my flight be cancelled? Would I lose out on my holiday? These concerns are all fully understandable.
The aviation sector is well prepared to deal with harsh weather
As countries in the Mediterranean region experience the astonishing temperatures 400 C – 440 C (at the time of writing) the public focuses on climatic heat. This alertness makes people slightly apprehensive about travel safety, health, wellbeing etc. It is accurate to say that high temperatures affect aircraft performance. Yet, considering the available management systems, infrastructure and relevant operational planning, hot spells shouldn’t cause significant concern for passengers.
Generally speaking, the aviation sector is well prepared in regard to dealing with harsh weather. Airports are well organised to manage adverse situations and can easily cope with extraordinary circumstances. Modern airports with adequate infrastructure are able to withstand weighty forms of weather like substantial rain or hurricanes. Similarly, planes can fly during extreme conditions including icy weather, snow, heatwaves or strong winds. Take thunderstorms for example. Aircraft radars can easily detect heavy clouds and have the capacity to distinguish the density of clouds. Such abilities allow pilots to make better decisions like rerouting through safer surroundings.
On a similar note, the more modern aircraft are finely designed to the extent that could withstand incredible (natural) forces. Whereas, crews are trained to cope with difficult weather. Past experiences – accidents and events – spurred manufacturers to come up with much safer features and structures.
Education and learning could raise customer confidence
Where the industry is lacking in my opinion is on the communication front. Personally, I feel that the public should receive more information from various air transport sources. Information on the subject of weather-related performance and industry resilience too. My experience is that passengers and air-travel enthusiasts are mostly keen to receive information about flight safety, aircraft design and weather patterns at location and destination. More education and learning could raise customer confidence while could remove some of the weather-related anxieties that overwhelm passengers before they fly.
In conclusion, I used this short article to explain how the weather affects in different ways the aviation industry. By producing a clearer collective understanding, I want to encourage travellers to get away from traditional thinking that pronounces “bad weather will spoil my travel experience”. My advice is that irrespective if you fly for leisure, pleasure or business, do it with ample confidence and do not let the weather concern you. I say this assuredly as I know there are available technologies and wide expertise to safeguard customer experience. Going to the airport with a positive mind will lead you to a more pleasant journey.