A pilot's-eye view of the congestion problem

07/15/2010 | CNN

Veteran airline pilot Daniel Fahl attempts to explain why "airspace congestion" can cause flight delays even when the skies above an airport are cloudless and blue. Well-established aerial highways can become clogged with traffic when thunderstorms block the way, forcing flights to "merge" into a new lane much the same as cars attempting to avoid a disabled vehicle on the highway. Likewise, "bank" delays on the ground may result from delayed inbound aircraft, forcing other planes to wait in order to maintain proper spacing.

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