High temps have potential impact on air traffic

Medford, Ore. – Local travel is being affected by the high temperatures we are seeing this week.

At the Rogue Valley International-Medford Airport, Director Bern Case said days like these can create an issue with density altitude.

Case explained the hotter it gets, the less lift an aircraft has as the air is less dense.

This makes a longer runway for take-off imperative.

Thankfully, the airport added some 2,200 feet of runway back in 1999.

“On a day like today they use more runway than they usually do,” Case said. “Each airline is adding a couple thousand feet to what they normally do on these hot days.”

He added in extreme cases some airlines will take off weight. That means sending luggage on a different plane and reducing passengers.

However, thankfully Case said it hasn’t come to that yet.

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