City airports brace for deluge season

Shanghai's two major airports have taken measures ahead of the expected deluge during the annual flood season and possible flight delays.

The city’s two major airports have taken measures ahead of the expected deluge during the annual flood season and possible flight delays.

As Shanghai enters the most intense period of the annual flood season, it now faces stronger rainstorms and typhoons than experienced in previous years.

The Shanghai Airport Authority said it had dredged pipes, stabilized outdoor facilities and asked businesses inside the terminal buildings to stay open late in case of flight delays.

Over 33 kilometers of sewage and rainwater pipes at Hongqiao airport, which is more vulnerable in the face of rainstorms and typhoons, have been dredged to prevent the runways from getting flooded.

The waterways around the airport have also been lowered down to ensure the accumulated water on the runways can be drained out immediately in case of a deluge.

Hongqiao and Pudong airports have prepared a total of 34 dredging and cleaning machines to ensure the sewage ditches remain unblocked. They have cleaned up 15,600 cubic meters of sludge ahead of the rainy season, the authority noted.

Pumps and other flood-prevention measures have been readied at the aircraft maintenance fields and taxi parking areas at both airports. Rooftop facilities, hanging signs, curtain-wall glasses, and advertisement boards have been stabilized and airlines have been asked to ensure the safety of berthing aircraft during a typhoon.

In the event of flight delays, restaurants, toilets and stores as well as the lights and air-conditioning in the terminal buildings will remain open. Passengers will be moved if large crowds are stranded in the terminal buildings.

Temporary resting areas can be set up inside the buildings while the city’s traffic authority will help the carriers transport stranded passengers to nearby hotels, according to the authority.

Flight information will be published on the airport authority’s social network platforms and official website at Passengers are also advised to check with the airlines about flight information before making the trip to the airport, the authority said.

The flood season often comes along with city's plum rain season, called meiyu in Chinese, which usually begins on June 17 and lasts until early or mid-July.

The season — so called because it always occurs when the plum fruit ripens — is characterized by extreme dampness and high temperatures.

The Shanghai Meteorological Bureau has forecast that there will be more rain and hot days during the flood season this year, which starts on June 1 and will last until the end of October. Two or three typhoons are expected to affect the city this year. Last year the figure was six, though the intensity may be greater this this time round.

Flight punctuality rates at both airports usually slump during the flood season due to the frequent rainstorms and typhoons that reduce visibility for pilots and make it difficult or near impossible for aircraft to take off or land.

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