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Changing climate, wind patterns spells possible risk for Arctic airports

March 9, 2015, Toronto - Even as a boy, Andrew Leung was enamoured with flight and loved to go with his father to watch the planes flying in and out of Hong Kong’s Kai Tak airport. Sandwiched between the harbour and a wall of skyscrapers, the now-defunct airport was a notoriously challenging place to land a commercial airliner.


March 9, 2015
By The Globe and Mail

“I was very young at that time and couldn’t comprehend the difficulty for the pilots,” Mr. Leung said.

Now a PhD candidate at the University of Toronto, Mr. Leung’s love of aviation has led him to investigate a different kind of challenge for pilots in the Canadian Arctic and the communities that depend on them – climate change.

As part of a continuing study, Mr. Leung has been gathering meteorological data from small airstrips around Hudson Bay and the Eastern Arctic. The results, which have yet to be published, suggest that gradual shifts in average wind speed and direction due to climate change will render at least some of those airstrips less safe in the future unless costly upgrades are put in place to help mitigate the increased risk. | READ MORE