A recent study showed that rising temperatures due to global warming will make it more difficult for aircraft to take off in the future.
Scientists warn that aircraft fuel capacities and payload weights will have to be reduced by up to 4% on the hottest days for some aircrafts, if planet-warming emissions don’t decrease.
A 4% weight reduction on an average 160-seat aircraft is equivalent to 12 or 13 less passengers in the aircraft.
Furthermore, 10% to 30% of fully loaded planes may have to remove some fuel, cargo or passengers, during the hottest parts of the day.
Some planes may well have to wait for cooler hours to fly, said the study published in the journal Climatic Change.
Ethan Coffel, lead author and a Columbia University PhD student said: “Weight restriction may impose a non-trivial cost on airlines and have an impact on aviation operations around the world.”
He added that the sooner climate can be incorporated into mid- and long-range plans, the more effective adaptation efforts can be.
On the other hand, a fully packed plane may not be able to take off safely in the event that temperatures rise too high, but that depends on the runway length and type of aircraft used.
The problem will become worst during heatwaves and the study found that the annual maximum daily temperatures at airports worldwide will rise by 4°C 8°C by 2080.
Radley Horton, co-author of the study and a climatologist, said that some of the effects could be reduced by installing new engines, body designs or expanded runways.