Editor’s comment: Opposite ends of the spectrum

Regional Gateway editor Chloë Greenbank summarises the latest happenings across airports serving business, regional and low-fare routes.

While it’s had a slightly delayed start, winter now seems to be settling in across the Northern hemisphere.

To ensure smooth and safe conditions in the freezing conditions, Munich Airport has its Winter Service on standby to ensure it can clear snow and maintain uninterrupted flight operations on its runways, taxiways and aprons. The airport has a pool of almost 500 local farmers and truckers it can call on to support its team of 47 permanent employees when the need arises.

It’s a different story on the other side of the world, with Australia in the grip of an extreme heatwave. Tibooburra Airport in New South Wales has recorded temperatures over 48C and similarly Wilcannia Airport also in New South Wales has reported temperatures over 47C.

With such extreme weather conditions being described as the “face of climate change”, global warming is one of the major issues being discussed at the World Economic Forum in Davos, near Zurich, this week. But, that hasn’t stopped a number of world leaders attending the forum by private jet. The Air Charter Service predicted there will be around 1,500 private jets flying in and out of local airports around Davos, while Jet Aviation has reported a need to augment its FBO in Zurich to support the surge in VIP aircraft throughout the course of the week.

However, Oliver Cann, head of strategic communications at the World Economic Forum stated in his blog post on 23 January that the figure of 1,500 flights is “a far cry” from the reality and is based on marketing literature from a commercial operator. He added that: “Based on official statistics for business jet use into and out of Zurich and St Gallen airports, we estimate 14% less private jet use in 2019 compared to 2018.”

He also underlined that for those who do travel to Davos by plane, the forum fully offsets all carbon emissions from flights – “private or otherwise.”

The editor’s comment is published weekly as an accompaniment to the Regional Gateway e-newsletter. If you do not currently receive our email updates, you can subscribe here.

 

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