Thunderstorms with Lightning… very very frightening (for airports)?

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This topic contains 6 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  canucklad 24 Jun 2019
at 09:26

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  • ChinaEddie

    My previous experiences flying to NAIA (Manila) have been the usual normal airport issues – slight delays, long immigration queues and not that great layout designs experiences. The staff/ground crew there have always been super polite and professional.

    …Until last Sun (9 Jun), when this happen:

    NAIA flights suffer delay due to lightning, bad weather

    Stuck on the tarmac for 3hrs in a planes traffic-jam (no take-offs, landed plans cannot get to terminals etc. chain effects), with ground crews pulled back (inside) due to “Red Alert” (lightning risk) situation.

    While I have only flew Typhoon season in/out from the superior (in many ways) Chek Lap Kok (HKIA)… Writing here to ask if anyone else experienced such “lightning lock down” before?

    My gut field might be some sort of lack of investment in lightning arresters/divertors around the terminals that resulted in Sunday’s highly unusual situation.

    Any folks have similar experiences?
    Or if engineering/technical solutions for such situation?


    To me it is not at all unusual. Have been stuck at HKIA a few times when the airport has been closed as a result of lightning and thunderstorms. Also in SIN, and at DFW. Although aircraft can fly through thunderstorms, I am fairly sure that taking off into one, or landing through one, is not a brilliant idea. I have also been diverted on approach to land in SE Asia, and even in Faro.

    Refuelling is also not allowed when lightning may strike, for obvious reasons.

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    Any folks have similar experiences?

    I have sat on the runway for an hour at Orlando(MCO) waiting for lightning to disappear on our take off path, there was no storm locally just somewhere ahead.

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    ๐Ÿ™‚ Was actually hoping some of the affected SE Asia countries’ airport get in touch with their best/brightest local universities – and develop an autonomous (aka “Robot”) vehicle that can navigate-tow the affected plans into a safe area (protected hanger with plenty of grounded lighting arresters?), so that at least, affected (landed) passengers can disembark! Perhaps I need to twitter Tony Stark about this!! ๐Ÿ˜€ LOL!


    Reduce airport traffic to a minimum, or close an airport to all traffics, due to severe weather conditions, is a standard safety procedure in aviation

    During a severe thunderstorm, all airport’s ground activity is stopped, and all incoming flights are put on hold (if possible) or are diverted to other airports


    I’m very happy the aircraft stays on the ground during a thunderstorm. I’d much rather arrive late, even miss a connection, than not arrive at all.
    I’ve been delayed umpteen times, SIN, JNB, ZRH, DLA to name a few. I’ve also landed during some horrendous storms, though not directly over the airport, but bad enough to give some serious turbulence.


    Worst landing ever, was at Alicante
    So bad I was wishing that the pilot would instigate a go around or even divert.
    And Iโ€™m a good flyer, having said that the drunken hen party behind seemed to take it in their stride, singing a variety of colourful songs and performing an impromptu Mexican wave as we bounced about the place.

    Worst take-off was from Bali on a Garuda 747.
    Never taken off in such a dark (black) sky with torrential rain bouncing off the wings. Absolutely, but not literally shat my pants when it dropped significantly just after take-off

    It reminds me, that people arenโ€™t afraid of flying, its more about loss of control over your own destiny

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