SPANISH flights could face being re-routed to limit the environmental damage caused by vapour trails.
The trails – sometimes called contrails – are formed when planes fly through pockets of cold, moist air, causing more pollution.
They can be up to 150km in length and last for up to 24 hours and are said to add significantly to global warming.
Now a ground-breaking study – by researchers at the University of Reading – has found the damage could be limited by re-routing flights around the pockets of air.
According to the study, short haul flights can increase their journey distance by up to 10 times the length of the contrail and STILL reduce the environmental damage.
If a flight from the UK to Spain leaves a 20km long contrail, for example, as long as the plane flies less than 200km extra to avoid it, the overall impact would be reduced.
“You would think that you have to do some really huge distance to avoid these contrails,” said lead author Dr Emma Irvine.
“But because of the way the Earth curves you can actually have quite small extra distances added onto the flight to avoid some really large contrails.”