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Oppressive heat causes delays at McCarran Airport in Las Vegas

Posted at 5:53 PM, Jun 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-20 21:23:25-04

The record-tying temperatures are making it more difficult for planes to take off at McCarran Airport, and it's leading to some delays.

On Monday, the airport reported 4 delays due to heat. Airport spokeswoman Christine Crews says those were mostly cross country flights that carry a lot of passengers and fuel.

Aviation experts say extreme heat makes it harder for plan to obtain the lift they need to take off, which sometimes means using more space on the runway to generate enough momentum.

On Tuesday, we saw several planes towards the back of runway to get more space to take off.  

McCarran says they're prepared for all situations.

"It could be that they delay a flight hoping the conditions improve. It could be that they bump some passengers in order to decrease the weight. It could be that they leave some cargo behind," says spokeswoman Christine Crews.

The heat is especially impacting larger international flights with bigger planes. Hainan Airlines, which runs direct flights from Las Vegas to Beijing, has changed its bi-weekly flight times to 1 a.m. instead of 4 p.m. to avoid the heat of the day.

As for how hot is too hot for planes to fly at all, experts tell us it shouldn't be an issue unless temperatures get over 120 degrees.