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Home > Airways > What are the diversion airports over the Atlantic?
What are the diversion airports over the Atlantic?
Flying - Airways
Tuesday, 11 January 2011 16:48
Hi Capt Lim,

I would be grateful if you could answer a question for me?

My daughter has a severe peanut allergy which requires her to carry epipens. We are flying for the first time since her allergy was diagnosed last year. We will be flying from Gatwick to Orlando on a 9-hour flight.

My concern is what would happen if she were to have a life threatening reaction on board, especially once over the Atlantic. How far away would we be from a diversion airport at any time during the flight? The epipens do not always resolve a reaction fully; just buy time until emergency medical help is received. So length of time to an emergency landing is an important consideration.

Also what is the usual route taken on this flight.

Thanks in advance

(An anxious Mum)

Flying Across the Atlantic

Hi Annie,

Even though the flight is about 9 hours long, you are normally not more than 2 hours from any airports in case of a dire medical emergency. In fact, most diversion airports would be even closer than an hour away.

The route taken from Gatwick to Orlando would usually be a curved one - initially North Westerly, then Westerly and finally in a South Westerly direction.

So the captain of your flight would most likely have the choice of the following diversion airports to go to in case of a life-threatening case on board his flight: Glasgow in Scotland, Keflavick in Iceland, Sondefjord in Greenland, Gander and Montreal in Canada, Boston, New York (JFK, La Guardia, Newark), Washington, Cincinnati and quite a number of US airports before Orlando.

So there is no cause for concern for your daughter in case of an urgent medical emergency.


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what are the diversion airports over the Atlantic
thanks Capt Lim, that is very reassuring to know. does the same apply if going straight across the atlantic from uk?
Annie , 19 Jan, 2011
What are the diversion airports over the Atlantic
Hi Annie

Although the route appears curved, it is in fact the shortest route. If the plane were to fly straight across the Atlantic, it would fly a longer distance.

Remember the map (a stretched one) you normally see is in fact a distorted one because the Globe is round. To understand this, please do a search in my site .smilies/smiley.gif
Captain LIm , 19 Jan, 2011

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