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Taking the bump out of turbulence

Stronger computing power, better satellite technology giving airlines a clearer picture of flying conditions

Weather woes: Passengers waiting in line at a US airport when airlines cancelled thousands of flights due to a snow storm. Weather accounted for 36 per cent of all airline delays last year, down from 50 per cent in 2003. - BLOOMBERG FILE PHOTO

[NEW YORK] Just a few years ago, airlines got their weather reports by telex. Pilots pored over reams of paper and compared the forecasts with their flight plans. Once airborne, they depended on radio communications and rudimentary radar to avoid bad weather. Now, pilots download detailed flight