Arizona has been in the news, but this could affect more flights as record highs continue around the world. Over 40 flights had to be cancelled out of Phoenix due to high temps that exceeded maximum operating temperatures for the aircraft. City officials said the cancellations mostly affected regional flights on the smaller Bombardier CRJ airliners, which have a maximum operating temperature of about 118F (48C). The cancelled flights were scheduled to take off between 15:00 and 18:00 local time. While many people are saying global warming is not occurring, this problem is a new issue that could get worse. Las Vegas is only a few degrees away from having flights cancelled as well. Bigger aircraft like Boeing 747s and Airbus models have a slightly higher operating temperature, and have not been affected by the heat yet. An American Airlines statement provided to The Arizona Republic newspaper said those jets should be fine up to 126-127F (53C) - just a little higher than what Phoenix is experiencing.
What most people aren't considering is how these rising temperatures could affect other major airport hubs, such as Abu Dhabi or Dubai. The UAE has reached temperatures of 129F (50 C) which is above the recommended maximum operating temperature of the larger aircraft flying out of this region (A330, Boeing 747, 777 Dreamliner, etc.) The media there is saying not to worry even if temps reach 147F (64 C)! This could pose serious safety issues flying in this region. The National Centre for Meteorology and Seismology (NCMS) expects temperatures to reach between 45 and 49 degrees Celsius, with humidity levels reaching a maximum of 90 per cent in internal areas and 95 per cent along the coast. That could either ground all the planes or have airline companies operating them well outside safe operating temperatures. The popularity of long haul flights on various Middle Eastern airlines could be affected by this. The UAE has consistently been hitting temperatures up to 50C degrees the last few years. Will airlines fly even above the maximum safe operating temperature? Wind changes could further complicate this safety concern when departing from airports in the peak heat of summertime. If a major airport in the Middle East, such as Dubai or Abu Dhabi were to have similar flight cancellations, this could have a major impact on the travel industry in the region.
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