Winter is a special time for traveling. We can admire the majestic beauty of fresh winter snow and find the relief from heat. But it also means a higher risk of trouble for travelers - we've all experienced delays or flight cancelations due to bad weather, hours spent at airports or long airline customer service lines.
Private Jet Charter in Winter
Private jet travel is a great way to avoid such problems. There are surely fewer delays and cancelations when compared to commercial airlines. But why exactly is that, since private airplanes are held to all the same Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) safety guidelines and restrictions?
Unlike commercial flights, chartering a private jet offers more options and flexibility. Paramount Business Jets (PBJ) experienced advisors constantly monitor the weather forecast and act proactively. Whenever needed, we have the ability to adjust your flight departure via the operators in order to beat a winter storm or let it pass through the area.
If an airport becomes restricted due to snow or ice, we will rearrange your flight schedule, for example switching to an alternate airport nearby that is not affected by adverse weather. Adjustments to your travel plans can even be made in-flight if unfavorable weather conditions arise unexpectedly. All final flight operation decisions are made by the respective flight operator.
Effects of Snow on Private Jets and Managing the Threats
Winter conditions, especially snow and ice, can threaten private jet travelers in two ways: runway length requirements and aircraft airflow characteristics. Like highways, runways can be plowed to avoid changes in take-off and landing procedures. It is not unsafe when runways are not completely clear of snow and ice but at times it may cause slight delays. Private jets can utilize runways with snow and slush but in such cases the requirements for take-off and landing rolls are greater. This increases the amount of time an aircraft spends on a runway which leads to traffic congestion and flight delays at larger airports.
Unlike commercial airline passengers, private jet flyers can use alternate airports where weather has a lower impact on runway conditions. Having the flexibility to adjust airports, flight routing, and departure times gives private jet charters the ability to fly safely and effectively in winter.
A build-up of moisture on the surface of an aircraft, usually in a form of ice or snow, alters the flow of air over the aircraft and adds to its weight. This, in turn, both increases drag and reduces the lift-generating capabilities of the aircraft. In order to avoid such difficulties in freezing conditions, aircraft are often deiced.
Deicing is a process where, if ice already exists, a heated glycol-based solution is sprayed on the aircraft to remove any snow or ice from its surface. The fluid chemically prevents any water molecules from binding when they reach the freezing temperature. Once the aircraft surface is clear of snow and ice, anti-icing fluid based on propylene glycol is applied. This process prevents further formation of snow or ice on the surface of the aircraft while on the ground.
Deicing is a process completed prior to departure and it may result in a slight ground delay. At larger airports, when hangar space is available, the aircraft can be kept inside to prevent ice from forming overnight. The costs of deicing and hangaring are not included in your charter price.
Airborne aircraft, too, utilize a variety of methods to remove and prevent any ice build-up on the leading edges (the front of the wing and tail) of the aircraft. The two most common systems are pneumatic and bleed air systems. Pneumatic systems are typically found on smaller, slower aircraft. The leading edge is equipped with rubber coverings that can be inflated and deflated causing any ice to crack and flake off. Bleed air systems route hot air from the engine through piping in the wings and tail to heat the surface just above freezing, thus preventing ice from forming.
Safety is always the primary consideration for any go/no go decision made by the operators working with Paramount Business Jets. Inevitably, there will be certain times when weather conditions get so extreme that private jet charter flights may be forced to stay on the ground. However, what happens most often is that private jets can keep passengers moving while commercial airlines are grounded. That's thanks to greater flexibility and airport options.