When flights get cancelled because of heavy winds / bad weather, why is it only e.g. 10% of all flights and not 100%? Isn’t either too dangerous so no plane can take off or it’s safe so they all can take off ?

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When flights get cancelled because of heavy winds / bad weather, why is it only e.g. 10% of all flights and not 100%? Isn’t either too dangerous so no plane can take off or it’s safe so they all can take off ?

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It has to do with the strength of the wind and the weight of the plane.

A small single person single engine propeller plane is is very light and as such it’s very easy for the wind to blow it from the runway.

A huge Airbus 380 is very heavy and has lots of power in the engines, as such it takes a lot of wind before it gets actually impacts by it.

So the airport can be closed for smaller planes but the big ones might still go through.

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It also has to do with how many planes air traffic control can guide through the weather.

Depends on the airport and the specific conditions

Many airports will have primary runways pointed one direction and secondary one pointed another. For example Newark has two long North-South runways and one short East-West runway, most planes use the two parallel runways under most conditions with one for takeoffs and the other for landings, but if there are strong Westerly winds then they can’t use the two main runways and have to use the much smaller one for both take off and landing. This cuts their capacity to less than half but still leaves them with some capacity.

Which planes make it in depends on what the airlines need. If they need your airframe for an international flight in the morning it’ll get priority over a regional flight which is much cheaper for them to reschedule

The availability of airport equipment can also be a factor. I was in Austin a couple winters ago, and it snowed for the first time in years. The airport only had one de-icing machine. Employees were not experienced in using it and at one point they actually ran out of fluid and had to go get more. Maaajor flight delays and outright cancellations. I believe the flights were prioritized based on when they were scheduled to depart. There were also complications around how long cabin crews had been working prior to taking off. (My flight baaaaaarely made it off the runway in time.)