UK airport and airbase suspend flights amid heat wave
- RAF Brize Norton halted flights on Monday after extreme heat ‘melted’ the runway, Sky News reports.
- London Luton Airport has also suspended flights due to a runway “surface defect” caused by heat.
- Britain is bracing for record temperatures as a dangerous heatwave covers the country.
Britain’s Brize Norton Air Force Base and London Luton Airport halted flights on Monday as a dangerous heatwave hits the UK.
The Royal Air Force halted operations at its Brize Norton base because the ‘runway melted’, as Sky News reported for the first time.
Friday, UK declared a national emergency, warning of potentially record temperatures on July 18 and 19. For the first time, the nation’s National Weather Service has predicted temperatures exceeding 104 degrees Fahrenheit. The UK’s current record temperature is 101.6 degrees, recorded in Cambridge during the summer of 2019.
“During this period of extreme temperature, flight safety remains the RAF’s top priority, so aircraft are using alternative airfields in accordance with a long-established plan. This means there is no impact on RAF operations,” the UK Ministry of Defense said in a statement. statement on Twitter.
The ministry’s press office did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
Meanwhile, London Luton Airport is also experiencing flight disruptions due to hot weather.
“As a result of today’s high temperatures, a surface defect has been identified on the runway,” the airport said in a statement. statement on Twitter. “Engineers were called to the site immediately and repair work is currently underway to resume operations as soon as possible.”
According to Flight Aware, 17% of flights from London Luton Airport have been delayed so far. London Luton Airport did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
The Royal Air Force halted flights to and from its Cranwell military base on Monday and Tuesday last week, a military source told Sky News, adding that tar is sticking to the boots and wheels of officials’ planes of the RAF since the beginning of the summer.
Extremely hot weather has made this summer’s flight chaos even worse. In addition to damage to runways, high temperatures can reduce the weight capacity of aircraft, requiring them to unload baggage and even the passengers to take off safely.
One passenger told Insider that Air Canada “begged” 25 people to change flights after boarding in Denver because the plane was “too heavy” to take off in the triple-digit heat.