Storm warning: airports adapt to a changing climate
By Chris Lo
“We have seen wind velocities 34% higher than the average of the last 30 years”
These impacts include a greater frequency of delayed and cancelled flights due to more severe weather conditions and changing wind patterns; damage to key airport infrastructure as a result of higher summer temperatures; and flooding of runways and taxiways from increased precipitation and the impact of sea-level rises, some degree of which looks inevitable at this point.
“Operationally, we don’t really know what you need to do to protect yourself from these events,” Bouzon says. “If I’m an airport general manager, it is hard to predict how the weather is going to impact my operation. Is it snowstorms, or will it be wind and rain? Because there are different ways to deal with these weather events, and I think this unpredictability is really stopping people from investing.