Turbulence in the Skies: Airlines Brace for Impact of Climate Change

The frequency of clear air turbulence (CAT) incidents has increased, likely due to climate change. Airlines are taking measures to mitigate the impact, including software trials and emphasising seat belt safety. Experts assert a real rise in CAT, exacerbated by the increase in flights over the decades.


PTI | New Delhi | Updated: 02-06-2024 11:21 IST | Created: 02-06-2024 11:21 IST
Turbulence in the Skies: Airlines Brace for Impact of Climate Change
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As the number of flights crossing the skies increases, there are more observations of clear air turbulence (CAT), a phenomenon that has intensified over the decades, likely due to climate change. Airlines are stepping up efforts to mitigate its impact.

A rare but severe case was reported on May 20 when a Singapore Airlines flight from London to Singapore experienced turbulence, resulting in one fatality and over 70 injuries. This incident has heightened the focus on turbulence, particularly the factors of climate change and CAT. In recent weeks, other turbulence-related incidents have also been reported.

CAT is generally defined as turbulence occurring in clear air, making it invisible and difficult to detect by pilots and aircraft radars. ''A robust increase in CAT over the decades is very likely because of climate change,'' said Manoj Joshi, Professor of Climate Dynamics at the University of East Anglia, UK. He noted a real increase in CAT, not just more observations, driven partly by the surge in flights over the past 40 years. Airlines are exploring ways to reduce in-flight turbulence. Air India Express is considering reviewing its current procedures during turbulence, while IndiGo is conducting trials on new technology for better in-flight safety.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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