Friday, January 7, 2011

Earth's Magnetic Shift Forces Closure of Tampa Airport Runway

It has been reported that the main runway at Tampa International Airport (in Tampa, Florida) must be closed down until January 13. 
The reason?  It seems that a 40 mile shift in the earth's magnetic pole has occurred  This naturally occurring shift has apparently tilted magnetic N more towards Russia.
This means the runway in question must be renumbered. For navigational purposes, the runway's number is consistent with its longitudinal orientation, which, of course, changed with the shift. 
The old designation of 18R/36L, for 180 degres (from th north) or 360 degrees (from the north) will be changed to 19R/1L.  This requires repainting those huge numbers you see on the runway.  And thanks to this event, now you know what those numbers actually mean.

Other runways will be closed to be 'rejiggered' later in the month.

And yes, it's absolutely necessary, since worldwide navigaation is based on latitude, longitude, and the magnetic poles.