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Hi All,

In recent weeks, the aviation industry has faced unprecedented challenges as an atypical streak of typhoons continues to batter many parts of the globe. These powerful storms have forced airlines to cancel thousands of flights, causing significant disruption to both domestic and international travel. The increased frequency of these weather events, which some scientists attribute to climate change, are impacting the aviation sector on multiple fronts. Not only are airlines grappling with the logistical nightmare of rescheduling flights and compensating passengers delays of cargos, mails and others, but they’re also facing the financial strain of these unexpected operational disruptions. Furthermore, as the industry strives to recover from the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, these typhoons present another hurdle to the return of stable, profitable operations. This situation underscores the urgent need for the aviation industry to adapt and build resilience against increasingly frequent and severe weather events.

Typhoons, known as tropical cyclones or hurricanes in other regions, pose significant challenges to the aviation industry. These extreme weather events are characterized by high wind speeds, torrential rain, and adverse atmospheric conditions which can compromise flight safety. Understanding the impact of typhoons on aviation is critical for improving operational strategies and ensuring passenger safety.

Typhoon conditions can result in various operational disruptions in the aviation industry. High wind speeds can make take-off and landing risky, while heavy rainfall can result in poor visibility and unsafe runway conditions. Turbulence caused by the unstable atmospheric conditions can compromise in-flight safety. Furthermore, typhoons can cause extensive physical damage to airport infrastructure, leading to closure of airports and cancellation of flights, which results in significant financial losses for airlines and disrupts the travel plans of passengers.

Some countries have trends to be mostly affected by typhoons; namely those predominantly located in the Pacific and Southeast Asia. These include the Philippines, Japan, Taiwan, and China. The Philippines, in particular, experiences an average of 20 typhoons each year. Japan and Taiwan also frequently experience typhoons, especially during the annual typhoon season from May to October. These countries have significant aviation industries that are repeatedly disrupted by typhoon occurrences.

Airlines and aviation authorities employ several strategies to mitigate the impact of typhoons. Flight planning and scheduling are meticulously done to avoid typhoon-prone areas and seasons. Airlines also invest in advanced weather prediction technologies to forecast typhoon occurrences accurately. They maintain flexible rebooking policies to accommodate passengers affected by flight cancellations. Airlines conduct regular emergency preparedness drills and staff training to ensure effective response during typhoon events. Additionally, they collaborate with airport authorities to protect airport infrastructure against typhoon damage.

Nice to know to have some of these following procedures of airlines pertaining to Weather disruptions :

The Line Manager or Senior Station Official, is responsible for ensuring that there are procedures in place and that they are implemented in the event of severe weather conditions. Local procedures shall be included in Local Procedures Manual

The responsible person will:

  • Ensure the safety of staff and passengers is maintained during such conditions.
  • Be aware of the types of severe weather that may occur at the station.
  • Monitor the local weather conditions.
  • Establish with the local airport authority and/or emergency services what arrangements are in place for weather warnings and communications.
  • Develop local procedures, which will include: –
  • Communication of weather alerts to all staff
  • Phases of reduced operation up to, and including an operations shutdown.
  • Safety procedures in the event of severe weather conditions.
  • How to call for medical help if necessary
  • Ensuring that all employees are aware of the procedures

In short, the impact of typhoons on the aviation industry is substantial, especially in countries that experience frequent typhoon occurrences. While the aviation industry has implemented several mitigation strategies, the increasing intensity and frequency of typhoons due to climate change necessitate continuous effort and innovation in managing these weather-related challenges. It is crucial for airlines, regulatory authorities, and governments to collaborate effectively in planning and implementing mitigation strategies against typhoons to ensure flight safety and smooth operations.

Salam Sehat Semangat Sukses

Bambang Purnomo , SS-BA, CSCA, CAVM Solution Consultant

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POWER ACTION © 2024. All rights reserved.