Turbulent Times: How Climate Change Could Dampen Future Summer Air Travel

As Canadians anticipate and book their summer trips this year, scorching temperatures amid potential heat waves could dampen travel plans. The country experienced record temperatures in 2021. cancellations. Heat-related travel disruptions aren’t new, but with climate change blamed for more intense heat waves, the travel industry is on a turbulent path, experts say. “Airports, airlines and also passengers just need to understand that we need to plan for these kinds of events because they are becoming more and more common and can impact timely travel,” said Kent Moore, professor of physics at the University of Toronto, Mississauga According to the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report released on Monday, without immediate and deep reductions in emissions across all sectors, limit 1.5C (34.7F) global warming is ‘out of reach.’ 2:13It’s ‘now or never’ to thwart climate catastrophe, says new UN report It’s” now or never” to thwart climate catastrophe, says new UN report The airline industry will also feel the effects of rising temperatures as the planet heats up. Intense heat makes it difficult to take off or planes landing because hot air gives the plane less lift, Moore explained. A record heat wave in the southwestern United States last year forced the cancellation of some flights at Las Vegas airport. Meanwhile, in 2017, temperatures near 120 degrees in Phoenix led to dozens of flight cancellations. elevator,” he told Global News. The story continues under the ad This means planes must either reduce the amount of fuel they can carry, which affects the distance they can travel, or limit the number of passengers, Moore added. Airlines told Global News they have several provisions and mechanisms in place in the event of heat waves and other extreme weather events. Aircraft manufacturers are already working to make planes lighter and more fuel efficient, which is helpful during heat waves. ever” – made of 99.99% air. “Its record strength and lightness make it a potential metal for future aircraft and vehicles,” says the US aerospace company. 5:09 What Canada’s changing COVID requirements mean for spring and summer getaways. What Canada’s evolving COVID requirements mean for spring and summer getaways. The other problem is that hot conditions reduce the efficiency of ground operations, with personnel suffering from heatstroke and stress. Airports also have a lot of asphalt that can get really hot, and that can be a “big deal,” Moore said. When dealing with wildfires, visibility can be a challenge, especially for small private planes, as smoke makes it difficult to see the runway. A special class of thunderstorms, called pyrocumulonimbus clouds, which are quite dangerous for airplanes, are also triggered by forest fires, then airplanes must turn away and fly around them. The intense heat from wildfires causes warm air to rise, which can trigger the formation of a cloud that releases heat, Moore explained. “The release of heat warms the air even more and that can trigger the thunderstorm,” he said. A pyrocumulonimbus cloud is generated by the intense Orroral Valley bushfire burning south of Canberra. The increasing heat from intense bushfires can create massive, powerful clouds that produce their own weather. January 31, 2020 in Canberra, Australia. Photo by Brook Mitchell/Getty Images Airlines and airports across Canada say they are preparing for another heat wave this summer. In a statement to Global News, Air Canada said it has in place “a robust contingency planning process and mechanisms that allow us to respond quickly and effectively to any situation, with the safety of customers and employees always being the primary consideration. “Canada’s second largest carrier, WestJet, said it suffered several cancellations last summer due to wildfires in British Columbia which impacted operations in local areas. “While rare, we we have several provisions in place to support our operations in the event of extreme weather conditions, including heat waves to ensure the safety of our guests and employees, ”said Denise Kenny, spokesperson for the Calgary-based airline, in a statement to Global News. In Kelowna, where wildfires forced mass evacuations of residents, YLW airport operations were affected throughout the month. of August due to airspace restrictions near active fires, as well as smoke-related visibility issues. 2:42Some causes of the 2021 Okanagan wildfires have been determined; other investigations underway Some causes of the 2021 wildfires in the Okanagan have been determined; other ongoing investigations – March 31, 2022 However, the heatwave had no direct impact on airport operations, said Phillip Elchitz, senior manager of airport operations at Kelowna International Airport. The story continues under the ad “In preparation for the 2022 season, YLW continues to work with BC Wildfire Service, NavCanada and Transport Canada to mitigate potential issues and incorporate learnings from previous years,” he told Global News in an email. “There is always the potential for weather-related air service disruptions.” To ensure the safety of Vancouver International Airport staff, a YVR spokesperson said crew members are limiting time that they spend exposed to extreme heat and have access to electrolyte beverages throughout their shifts.” weather in our region is becoming a more frequent occurrence, we continue to examine the potential effects of climate change on our operations in an integrated way,” the spokesperson told Global News. 2:14 After a two-year hiatus in travel for most people, Kelowna International Airport is getting busier as travel demand air travel increases After a two-year hiatus in travel for most people, Kelowna International Airport is getting busier as demand for air travel increases nte 18, 2022 Meanwhile, the Calgary Airport Authority (YYC) is also looking at ways to deal with extreme weather events. “We conducted a climate change risk assessment which identified both wildfires and heat waves, as well as other climate change related factors, as impacting our operations,” said Carmelle Hunka, Vice President of People, Risk, and General Counsel. at the Calgary Airport Authority. Because heat waves are relatively easy to predict, it helps with short-term planning by scheduling more people to work or reducing operations, Moore said. to warm the planet, heat waves are going to become more frequent,” he said. And that will require better planning. “If airlines and airports aren’t planning, they should start planning,” Moore said. © 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.