Weather de­lays in June cause storms at air­ports

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - FRONT PAGE - By LUO WANGSHU lu­owang­shu@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Ex­treme weather will con­tinue to chal­lenge air­line punc­tu­al­ity through Au­gust, af­ter bad weather caused mas­sive flight de­lays and can­cel­la­tions in June, the civil avi­a­tion author­ity said on Tues­day.

“In June, most re­gions ex­pe­ri­enced ex­treme weather con­di­tions such as storms and heavy rain,” said Zhang Chun­zhi of the Civil Avi­a­tion Ad­min­is­tra­tion of China.

“Five ma­jor air­ports, in Bei-

jing, Shang­hai, Guangzhou and Shen­zhen, which han­dle 40 per­cent of flights na­tion­wide, had a com­bined 59 days of stormy weather and is­sued 92 mas­sive flight de­lay and can­cel­la­tion alerts.”

Weather was still the chief ob­sta­cle for flight punc­tu­al­ity in June, ac­count­ing for 65.81 per­cent of de­lays, she said.

“There was more rain this June than in pre­vi­ous years. Ex­treme weather in some ar­eas af­fected busy air­ports and flight routes. Take Bei­jing as an ex­am­ple, Bei­jing Cap­i­tal In­ter­na­tional Air­port had eight days of stormy weather in June, which caused 2,300 flight can­cel­la­tions and more than 3,000 flight de­lays leav­ing Bei­jing.”

She added that stormy weather also af­fected air routes in the Yangtze River Delta re­gion and Pearl River Delta re­gion, caus­ing mas­sive de­lays and some can­cel­la­tions in Shang­hai,

Guangzhou and Shen­zhen.

Flight punc­tu­al­ity will face fur­ther chal­lenges from bad weather in July and Au­gust, Zhang said.

The China Me­te­o­ro­log­i­cal Ad­min­is­tra­tion pre­dicted tem­per­a­tures will re­main high in July and Au­gust, she said. “North­ern China will have heat waves and pe­ri­odic storms. Storms and ty­phoons will hit coastal ar­eas in south­ern and east­ern China,” she said.

The ad­min­is­tra­tion re­quires air­lines, air­ports, the air traf­fic man­age­ment bureau and re­gional civil avi­a­tion de­part­ments to take re­spon­si­bil­ity to im­prove the punc­tu­al­ity rate dur­ing the sum­mer storm sea­son.

Storms of­ten cause mas­sive de­lays and can­cel­la­tions, in which pas­sen­gers get stuck at air­ports, caus­ing chaotic scenes. Ar­riv­ing flights can­not land, so they cir­cle Bei­jing Cap­i­tal In­ter­na­tional Air­port, and some even re­turn or land at other air­ports. Af­ter storms, air­lines must ap­ply to have flights resched­uled. De­layed and newly ar­ranged flights then cause new de­lays.

The CAAC’s North China Re­gional Ad­min­is­tra­tion launched ini­tia­tives to cope with such weather chal­lenges, re­duc­ing air traf­fic op­er­a­tional risks and im­prov­ing ef­fi­ciency.

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