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Feb 21, 2024

Most turbulent airline routes & airports

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FA News Desk
Photo: AirlineRatings
Photo: AirlineRatings

The latest rankings of the most turbulent airline routes and airports worldwide have been unveiled!

Turbli, an esteemed turbulence forecasting firm, meticulously analyzed data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the UK Met Office to unveil the most turbulent air routes and airports globally.

For two consecutive years, the title of the most turbulent flight belongs to the route between Santiago, Chile, and Santa Cruz, Bolivia, traversing the formidable Andes Mountains, writes Sharon Petersen in AirlineRatings.

A recurring pattern among turbulent routes involves traversing mountain ranges and airports located near bodies of water. Turbli diligently examined turbulence patterns daily at 1 a.m. and 1 p.m., averaging turbulence levels at the standard cruising altitude throughout the year.

The country with the strongest turbulence was Bhutan followed by Guinea-Bissau and Senegal. The United Aab Emirates came in at number 32, Australia number 64 and the United States at number 68. For the full country list click here.

In the ‘over ocean’ rankings, the north Atlantic and North Pacific Oceans had the highest turbulence ranking.

Turbulence was assessed using the eddy dissipation rate (EDR) or turbulence intensity, irrespective of aircraft size. Notably, smaller aircraft experience turbulence differently from jumbo jets, with a smaller plane being affected more profoundly even at lower rates of turbulence.

Here’s a breakdown of turbulence levels:

Light: 0-20 EDR

Moderate: 20-40 EDR

Severe: 40-80 EDR

Extreme: 80-100 EDR

Turbli scrutinized the turbulence data of the 150,000 most frequently traveled air routes. Remarkably, the yearly average turbulence levels were classified as “light” turbulence across the board by Turbli.

Here are the top 10 airports globally for Turbulence

1        Santiago, Chile      17.137 EDR

2        Natori, Japan         16.657 EDR

3        Wellington, New Zealand 16.318 EDR

4        Sapporo, Japan      16.305 EDR

5        Osaka, Japan          16.12 EDR

6        Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan        15.993 EDR

7        Tokoname, Japan   15.885 EDR

8        Lanzhou, China     15.8 EDR

9        Tokyo, Japan         15.545 EDR

10      Christchurch, New Zealand       15.482 EDR