20 October, 2020

North Pole Diary

From this vantage, Calcutta seems just as close as Chicago, Delhi just as far as Dallas.

North Pole Diary

Hug the Circle

I write this just 12 kms from the North Pole. Vertically, that is--from a flight taking what’s fondly called Santa’s short-cut. Like many flights from Asia to the Americas, this one is flying over the North Pole, thereby reducing the journey distance and time by 30 per cent. Over the last few years, regulations have been eased to allow more polar flights. So airlines are all going for ‘Great Circle’ routes (the shortest routes between two points on a sphere), adjusting for jetstreams and weather conditions. The polar region is not new to aviation. During the 1950-60s, western airlines routed flights above Alaska and Japan to avoid the airspace over communist bloc countries. The Cold War was on. There was the fear of planes being shot down by Soviet missiles. All through those years, that fear existed and was kept alive by propaganda...



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