My regular readers know that I am very bothered by a ,problem at San Francisco airport.
At regular intervals airplanes are delayed in arrivals and departures from SFO due to weather that requires landing on only one runway. That drops the number of landings from 60 per hour to 30. The second runway cannot be used in common weather conditions because the local environmental fanatics will not allow a runway to be built on the existing mud flats.
A friend of mine recently challenged me to calculate the cost of this environmental disaster. My calculations show that the society loses $136 million a year in passenger time wasted. Here are the calculations.
There are a number of considerations that went into these calculations. First, many people may be working while sitting in an airport, anywhere, waiting for a plane. That is the wonder of modern telecommunications and mobile computers. Second, some small part of the weather delays were atmospheric, unrelated to the runway problem. Lastly, many passengers may just be on vacation and the delay is of no consequence.
Nevertheless my calculations are based on the best available data. It still comes out to $136 million of wasted time because of environmental fanatics.