Emirates declares 3rd runway unnecessary

Dubai-based Emirates has waded into the controversial issue of a third runway at London Heathrow Airport by stating that it is not needed. Instead, the carrier advocates the adoption of continuous descent landing profiles which result in quieter, more environmentally friendly landings. Emirates’ plan involves adopting a so-called “mixed-mode” scheme, with simultaneous takeoffs and landings […]


Dubai-based Emirates has waded into the controversial issue of a third runway at London Heathrow Airport by stating that it is not needed. Instead, the carrier advocates the adoption of continuous descent landing profiles which result in quieter, more environmentally friendly landings.

Emirates’ plan involves adopting a so-called “mixed-mode” scheme, with simultaneous takeoffs and landings using the current pair of Heathrow runways. Currently one runway is used for departures and the other for arrivals. If adopted, it would see airliners landing at a 2.5 degree steeper angle than the standard three-degree approach.

According to the airline’s president, Tom Clark, the new “Eco-Approach” would allow Heathrow to handle an additional 240 minutes worth of inbound flights every single day, but new air traffic control technology would need to be introduced at a cost of approximately £2 million (US$3.3 million). “For a few million extra pounds you could open Heathrow later at night and earlier in the morning”, he said.