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Planning to go to an exotic destination, such as Fiji or Tahiti, soon? Did you know that flying to these places took longer than it used to now? This is because aircraft avoid passing over the North Pole, also known as the “Polar Route” or “Santa’s Shortcut”. They have to take a longer route which means longer travel time.
Passenger flights and private jet flights avoided flying over the North Pole for several reasons. Magnetic forces may interfere with the communication and navigation devices in the plane, and the freezing temperature may freeze the jet fuel. Additionally, a previous aviation law stated that jets should not fly around areas with no safe landing points anywhere within three hours away in case a jet has to land due to an emergency, such as failure of the jet engine.
In 2011, many long-haul private and passenger and private jet flights were cut short due to a change in aviation law from the ruling by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration. Instead of requiring a safe landing within three hours away, airplanes can now fly over the North Pole because a change in this aviation law stated that the required safe landing spot should be five and a half hours away due to the implemented safety improvements on the jets.
Travelling over the routes that have never been used has its advantages. For one, travel time is shorter, more than five hours short. Next, airfare could be less because of the shorter distance and travel time. Another, less distance travelled means less fuel consumption which is good for the environment. Lastly, passengers can enjoy the view of the Arctic.
One of the best things about it is the shorter travel time which is of great convenience for the passengers.
For example, flying to Fiji from London via South Korea or Los Angeles can take about 24 hours. Since the airplane has to avoid flying straight over the North Pole, it has to reroute from either South Korea or Los Angeles before flying to Fiji. But, with the development of the aviation law, you can now fly straight non-stop to Fiji for 18 hours. Flying from New York to Hong Kong could also save you five hours. It can save you a lot of time and inconvenience.
However, there are downsides on flying over the North Pole. One worry of the airline owners is the freezing temperature in the area. But, this is the least of your worries. Travelling over the North Pole exposes people from more radiation, especially during asolar storm, than taking the traditional route.
When flying over the polar route was first considered in 2000, scientists revealed that radiation exposure when flying over the North Pole is equal to three chest X-rays. This could be harmful to pregnant women and to people who are frequent travelers. These are things you might need to consider before booking a flight.
Nevertheless, there have been no reported incidents in passenger or private jet flights related to these problems and accidents due to magnetic interference so far.
Planning an exotic holiday soon? Charter Flight Group can take you where you want to go.