Air Traffic Delays Now More Costly For America Than Hurricanes

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration recently announced that, from 2000 to 2008, airline flight delays took more from America's pocketbook than the combined cost of every hurricane in the country. Thanks, air travel. We love you, too.

Here at Jalopnik, our aviation roots run deep. This writer is the son of a pair of flight geeks, one of whom was once an airframe/powerplant mechanic and a professional pilot, and almost everyone on staff loves aviation. Nevertheless, most of us hate commercial air travel with a passion. Now we have one more reason.

At the American Meteorological Society's annual meeting this week, the NOAA's Aviation Weather Center announced that, from 2000 to 2008, hurricane damage cost the United States an estimated $131 billion. To put that in perspective, a recent study by Congress suggested that domestic air traffic delays in 2007 alone cost the United States as much as $41 billion. Most analysts believe that Congress's number is an overestimate, and that the actual suck on the American economy is much lower. Still, you'd have to chop an awful lot off of $41 billion to make up the difference.

Good news, everyone! Massive meteorological destruction is cheaper than trying to get somewhere by plane! Screw flying home for the holidays — we're just going to start seeding the clouds over the Atlantic. It's better for America.

(Photo Credit: NASA)

[Wired]