Weather can have a major impact on airlines, airports and indeed all types of flying.
Although most airliners navigate by the use of instruments and air traffic control instructions, landing and then
taxiing around the airport normally require the pilots to be able to look out of the cockpit and see the ground.
Many airports and aircraft are fitted with instrument landing systems but only rarely do these allow the aircraft to
autoland with no input from the pilot. Therefore if the visibility is poor it can affect aviation and reduce the amount
of take offs and landings at airports.
Even once an aircraft has landed the pilot will visually taxi the aircraft around the airport to the terminal, and
vice versa when an aircraft is taking off. At major airports this can involve a long and complicated taxi with pilots
needing to follow traffic light style signals and painted ground markings.
As a result when there is fog or low cloud airports and air traffic control will use reduced visibility procedures
which limit the number of flights to below normal.
In flight aircraft will attempt to avoid thunderstorms as although aircraft can conduct lightning strikes there is
the potential to damage the aircraft or its electronic systems. Air traffic control will therefore route aircraft
around known storms. The extra work this gives the controller and the extended routes aircraft will fly means that it
can reduce the amount of aircraft that can be in the airspace.
During the flight an aircraft may enter an area of turbulent air. Although it may be uncomfortable aircraft are
designed and tested to extreme levels of G force. For passenger comfort the crew will normally try to fly at a slightly
different height to escape the turbulence but this may not always be possible.
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