Week in Review – Airport over Motorway and Drought in South Africa

Airport built over Motorway

Everyone who has driven down the autobahn A14 in Germany might have seen it – an airplane driving across the motorway. The motorway does not navigate around the airport Halle/Leipzig but instead runs right through the middle of it. It is a regular sight for those who frequently use the motorway but for those not used to the route it makes for a unique sight.

Planes that are scheduled to land or depart take a taxiway bridge that crosses the busy motorway. This is due to a shortage of space around Halle/Leipzig, as well as the close proximity of the motorway. The taxiway allows planes to use the full 3.6km of the runway.

The airport is the main hub for DHL cargo, as well as Aerologic. It further links Saxony with the UK via Ryanair. Lufthansa operates regular flights from the airport as do SunExpress, Australian Airlines and RusLine. Military installations have also been built at the airport for NATO and EU military aircraft. In terms of cargo Leipzig/Halle is the fifth-busiest airport in Europe. In 2017 the airport saw nearly 70.000 plane movements and welcomed 2.3 million passengers.

The taxiway in Halle/Leipzig is no longer one of a kind. Planes at Amsterdam´s Schiphol airport also have to drive over a bridge on the neighbouring A5. And in Gibraltar it gets even wilder as they didn’t bother with a bridge. Instead the road that crosses the runway is controlled by traffic lights, whenever an aircraft is required to pass through.

across (əˈkrɒs) – über, jenseits
motorway (ˈməʊtəʳw) – die Autobahn
to navigate (ˈnævɪgt) – sich einen Weg bahnen, lenken, steuern
frequently (ˈfri:kwentli) – häufig
unique (ju:ˈni:k) – einzigartig, einmalig
sight (st) – der Anblick
to schedule (ˈʃedju:l) – etw planen, etw festlegen
to depart (dɪˈpɑ:t) – abfliegen, starten
shortage (ˈʃɔ:tɪʤ) – der Mangel, die Knappheit
proximity (prɒkˈsɪməti) – die Nähe
runway (rʌnw) – die Landebahn
main hub (mn hʌb) – der Hauptumschlageplatz, Hauptknotenpunkt
to operate (ˈɒpərt) – funtkionieren, vorgehen
busy (ˈbɪzi) – beschäftigt
neighbouring (ˈnbərɪŋ) – benachbart, angrenzend
to bother (ˈbɒðəʳ) – sich die Mühe machen
traffic light (ˈtræfɪk lt) – die Ampel

Drought in South Africa

“Day Zero” will probably come in the first half of April for Cape Town. The city has to turn off most of the taps when that day comes. Hospitals, key economic and industrial areas are exempt from a water cut-off. That also goes for densely populated areas with a higher risk of diseases. They opened up a disaster operations centre on Monday to prepare for the closure of taps.

While politicians blame each other for their failures the drought is probably due to the explosive population growth and man-made global warming. Day Zero could be prevented if everyone uses no more than 50 litres per day until rainfall fills up the depleted reservoirs and recycling plans are activated. Security forces are going to guard 200 water collection points where residents can pick up 25 litres per day and water tankers would deliver to old people and other facilities.

Cape Town ramped up contingency plans as the water crisis hurts tourism. Travellers from Africa as well as international ones cancelled their plans to visit South Africa. The crisis will demand from the people of South Africa to work together. Some residents supplement the water supply by collecting from natural springs in the city.

probably (ˈprɒbəbli) – wahrscheinlich
tap (tæp) – der Wasserhahn
exempt (ɪgˈzempt) – befreit, ausgenommen
densely (ˈden(t)sli) – dicht
populated (ˌpɒpjəltɪdˈ) – bevölkert, bewohnt
disease (dɪˈzi:z) – die Krankheit, Leiden
to prepare (prɪˈpʳ) – etw vorbereiten
closure (ˈkləʊʒəʳ) – die Schließung, Sperrung
to blame (blm) – jdn beschuldigen, verantwortlich machen
failure (ˈfljəʳ) – das Scheitern, Versagen
drought (drt) – die Trockenheit, Dürre
to prevent (prɪˈvent) – etw verhindern, vorbeugen
depleted (dɪˈpli:tɪd) – verbraucht, erschöpft
to guard (gɑ:d) – etw bewachen, beschützen
to deliver (dɪˈlɪvəʳ) – etw liefern, zustellen
to ramp up (ræmp ʌp) – etw verstärken
contingency plan (kənˈtɪnʤən(t)si plæn) – der Notfallplan, Krisenplan
to cancel (ˈkæn(t)səl) – etw absagen
to supplement (ˈsʌplɪmənt) – ergänzen, aufstocken