OPINION

Alternate Routes to the USA - Considering the Volcanic Ash

April 18, 2010
C N Anand

As the crow flies from Mumbai to New York, it has to fly exactly over Helsinki and then few kilometers north of Heathrow, before flying over the Atlantic to reach New York. Since Helsinki lies exactly mid way between New York and Mumbai, it affords the most economical refueling point. A direct flight from Mumbai to New York without stopping to refuel is an uneconomic proposition, as the fuel that has to be carried is more than the pay load.

The route from Mumbai or Delhi to the West Coast of the USA finds Seatlle, at the north-west tip of the USA, a conveniently near-placed gateway to the west coast. Unfortunately there are no European airports on the route to afford convenient refueling points. Novosibirsk, capital of Siberia, lies on the Delhi-Seattle route. It boasts of an international airport! However, it does not lie exactly midway to afford an ideally balanced refueling point. One could offset this by choosing an international airport in the northern part of Canada, like Edmonton, to get an additional hopping point after the long and arduous flight over the arctic.

The ash being spewed by the volcanic eruption of Iceland has shut down the airports of Europe. The chances are that it might get worse, and we have no idea when the airports will be functional again. Traffic between the USA and India is sufficient to provide full plane loads. Alternate routes to the USA must be explored, and Novosibirsk as a stepping-stone promises to be a beacon at the end of the tunnel for the west coast at least.

An Urdu translation, Tarbela Urao -- Pakistan ko Jhukao, of C N Anand's novel, Tarbela Damned Pakistan Tamed, is available in Pakistan.
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Alternate Routes to the USA - Considering the Volcanic Ash

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Author: C N Anand

 

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