A bad weather at airports is considered a microeconomic shock. In normal days, traffic can be sequenced out of airports under Visual Flight Rules (VFR). This helps to reduce the burden of maintaining aircraft separation for the controllers. In on the other hand the solutions are rare when an airport is encountering bad weather, it restricts the supply of the airport. Bad weather may not always imply full airport closure.
More often than not, Instrument Flight Rules apply and aircraft may still leave the airport, but under a much more stringent set of rules, specifically involving longer separation times between aircraft, close and extensive vectoring by air traffic control, and reduced airspace capacity around the airport. Therefore, the supply curve shifts to the left during periods of bad weather therefore demand outstrips supply resulting in a congestion. This phenomenon which might be resolved by many techniques that airports adapt and will be briefly discussed in this page.
As the arriving aircraft approaches its destination airport, the pilot will usually be asked to slow down or enter a holding pattern until the thunderstorms in and around the airport have cleared. As more planes arrive and holding continues, over-crowded airspace and low fuel conditions can become serious issues. Landing these arrivals safely becomes top priority. Controllers can choose to use more of the available terminal routes for arrivals and fewer for departures. But with fewer planes departing, gates are not freed up and airport ‘grid lock’ can occur.
Cases where passengers have been stranded for excessively long periods of time led the Department of Transportation (DOT) to pass a rule prohibiting airlines from leaving planes parked for more than three hours without allowing passengers to disembark, which has become a barrier from delaying flights that already got boarded. If the thunderstorms persist, the holding aircraft will eventually have to divert to alternate airports, wait out the bad weather, refuel, and fly again (much later) to the original destination also airports exploit these situations and increase the landing price.
However, diversions are very undesirable because of the large passenger delay and high cost to the airlines. However, as the weather impacts become longer lived and affect larger regions of the country, many scheduled flights will require new flight plans that do not intersect the weather impacted areas. management of the demand must be planned strategically. In the final analysis airports should implement a long term strategies, such as improving technologies e.g. (ILS Categories, CAT I, II and III).