09/30/2012

Floods affecting flights!

The current disastrous floods in the south of Spain, in which people have died, seem to have affected flights to and from there.


The statistics for flights over this weekend appear to show that there may have been problems for some flights to the flooded regions. One easyJet Switzerland aircraft, bound for Malaga yesterday morning, 29 September,, had to turn around just after passing Lyon and land there. The resulting problems, plus many of easyJet UK, had a knock-on effect on subsequent flights, with passengers in Heraklion seeing their late flight to Geneva cancelled.

Delayed or cancelled flights are, of course, of little significance when compared to the effects of the flooding in southern Spain. In particular, the deaths of people there make us realise what is and what is not of vital importance. However, perhaps that is not all of the story.

Just recently there was pretty catastrophic flooding in England, in particular the North. This came after a summer of exceptionally heavy rainfall, itself coming after a long period of droughtl, which meant that in places where a month of rain fell in a day, the ground could not absorb this rain. In Spain the torrential rain came after weeks of drought, so there also the rain did not immediately penetrate into the earth.

It does seem as if there are more and more exceptional events all over the planet. Individually, they do not prove anything, but when taken globally, the believers in Global warming, now called Climate Change, see these events as justifying their worst forecasts. The reported shrinking of the Arctic polar icecap, both smaller and thinner than ever before after a Summer that has not seemed exceptionally hot, is taken as another sign of man-made changes happening.

Coming back, literally and figuratively, to flights to and from Geneva airport, on Saturday night there were 8 landings of jets between 11 pm and midnight, plus one after midnight. Since the aircraft were all in what is currently the most quiet class of aircraft (class V), they did not pay any extra noise charges (I think that Geneva is the only significant Swiss airport not to have night surcharges on landings!). As of April 2014 these same aircraft landing in Geneva would pay the princely sum of 160 CHF (about 20 centimes per passenger). In Zurich, however, which has had nighttime landing surcharges for over 10 years, they would have paid 3600 CHF now, or 4620 CHF next year!

Could I suggest that the airlines concerned make a suitable donation to the Spanish organisations for flood relief?

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