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How Many Inches of Snow will Cancel a Flight?

How Many Inches of Snow will Cancel a Flight

Snow is a beautiful sight in winter. However, for fliers, it can be problematic when it exists in excess. It can even interrupt air travel plans. Prior to planning for a trip, therefore, it is important to know how many inches of snow will cancel a flight. This can help one to plan a trip accordingly and avoid expected flight cancellations or delays later on. Apart from flight cancellations, snow can affect runways and poor visibility for pilots. Thus, even when trips are not cancelled, it can be inconvenient to fly aircraft amidst extremely low temperatures. However, airlines and airports tend to adopt certain measures to safely conduct journeys, without causing cancellations or other obstacles in most instances.

How Much Snow Will Cancel a Flight? 

When there are over 10 inches of snow on the ground, a majority of airlines can cancel flights. In some instances, 6 inches of snow can cancel a flight. However, one should note that different airports/airlines have varying cutoff limits for cancellations caused by snow.

How does Snow Cause Flight Cancellations and Delays?

There are several effects or variables related to snowfall such as runway closure that can lead to flight cancellations or delays. 

Other variables/effects that can affect flights are:

  • Due to snow, a pilot can have poor visibility while flying, resulting in delays/revocations.
  • In the case of ice formation on aircraft, there can be temporary halts to flights.
  • Strong winds in a snowy environment can restrict planes from taking off. 
  • Extremely slippery runways/surfaces due to snow will cancel a flight. 

Can Aircraft Continue to Fly in Snowy Conditions?

Some aircraft are designed to operate efficiently at high altitudes even in cold or snowy conditions. That is why they can continue to fly amidst snow. Along with this, certain airlines have skilled pilots who operate their flights. On occasion, though, flight cancellations can take place. 

What does Snow and Air Travel Hold for the Future? 

It is predicted that as climate changes persist, snowfall patterns will likewise change. In such instances, airports and airlines can face new challenges. 

To deal with the same in the future, the following can be considered by airlines/airports: 

  • Airlines/airports can opt for the latest technologies to better handle snowy conditions. 
  • Novel de-icing substances can be adopted. They are safe for the environment, taking the place of traditional glycol-based solutions. 

To Wind Up, 

Due to heavy snow in some regions, airlines can cancel flights of their fliers. Along with flight cancellations, snow can affect airport runways, pilot’s visibility, and surface friction. However, to avoid such effects, airlines can adopt new measures that utilize Artificial Intelligence and Novel de-icing substances when possible. 

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