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We Were Cancelled in Medford

Tuesday 4 January 2011

I’ve often railed about the problems SFO has when the weather is even slightly less than perfect. The problem there is that there are two sets of parallel runways, one for departures and one for approaches. But they were planned in the 1940s, before instrument approaches became commonplace, so they are too closely spaced for parallel ILS approaches. ILS is needed when the fog and low clouds descend on the city by the bay. But the airlines and airport management plan schedules as though both runways will always be available, all the time, even when there is a high likelihood they will not. This contributes a big part of SFO’s generally poor on-time record.

Medford is a different deal. It was built in the lowest part of the valley, which is good for takeoff and landing performance. But it’s the sink for fog in the valley, so January through March especially can be a problem. But this is only the second time in many, many flights–far more from MFR than from SFO–when we’ve been cancelled, so we are not cranky about it yet.

It could be worse. We’d much rather be stuck here, trying to get Somewhere Else, than to be Somewhere Else and trying to get here. But I will be watching the inbound more closely when we try to get out later today.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Tuesday 4 January 2011 5:00 PM

    i wish i had known! i was editing in Medford today… could have easily swung by and picked you up for lunch or something. hopefully you are on your way, or they just gave up and have decided that you need to stay here for another couple of weeks.

  2. Tuesday 4 January 2011 9:49 PM

    Thanks for the offer. We actually met a new cabbie––who is less expensive, after our default cabbie took a long time responding, so it will lead to less expensive transit in the future.

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