Impact Of Snow On Private Aircraft Travel

There is a huge demand for private jets when heavy snow falls affect regular airline travel. Although extreme weather conditions can affect private aviation as well, private jet charters can keep passengers on the move where airlines fail. How does this happen? How do private jets fly when scheduled flights are frozen? Many times, private jets have access to ten times more airports than that of airline airports. With so many choices, private aircraft pilots can make last minute switches to an airport that is less affected by extreme winter weather, making landing much more flexible than airlines.

How do Private Jets manage to fly when airlines cancel flights?

Maintenance is another key factor as smaller airports that cater to private aircraft have processes to clear snow and ice much more quickly than big airports can. Fewer aircraft to clear as well as shorter and smaller taxiways make for the speedy and seamless cleanup.

Buildups of moisture, ice and snow on the surface of the aircraft increase the weight of the aircraft and disrupts the way air flows over the aircraft. This also increases the drag of the flight and reduces the lifting capabilities of the aircraft. These obstacles are dangerous and need to be avoided for safety concerns, which is why aircraft need to be de-iced before takeoff.

Many private aircraft are kept out of the cold in hangars which reduce the workload even further. Private jets are usually kept in smaller airports which means lesser congestion of aircraft that take up hangar space. During winter months, these private aircraft can be kept indoors to prevent icing in the first place.

Another unique reason how private jet travel differs from regular airlines is that they allow for flexible schedules. When you charter a private jet, the agreed upon departure time and route can change up until about two hours ahead of takeoff. The pilot or the customer can switch their routes to avoid closed airports during snowfall forecasts. Airlines are unable to move their schedules around with such ease; the only option is the cancellation of the flight. Their rigid schedules are due largely because of the ease of the jets movements, private jets can simply start moving much more quickly than airlines.

Advantages of a private jet during extreme weather

Private aircraft follow the same guidelines as regular airliners, the advantage of private jets is in their agility and the ability to be flexible. During extreme weather conditions, private jet charters can still close down due to safety. Unlike airlines, however, private aircraft can start to operate even if the runways are not completely cleared and have some slushy snow leftover.

Extreme temperature drops cause severe ice on the runways which can prevent flights from taking off. However, business aviation aircraft have a big advantage when conditions get better, delays are much shorter as there are less private aircraft in the pipeline. Airports experience delays during winter conditions because of the backlogs of flights that get delayed, private aircraft can be maneuvered around much more easily and re-positioned to depart. Airlines cannot provide this service as they take days to return to normal, leaving many of its passengers stranded even after all ice and snow has been cleared. Private aircraft can operate almost immediately after conditions clear up.

  • October 12, 2018