With many countries in lockdown and an increasing number of flights being grounded every day, London’s largest airport has decided to shut down one of its runways. Well, kind of. The airport will alternate between its two runways on a weekly basis, in order to give local residents a break from the noise.
The government has restricted all non-essential travel for UK citizens during lockdown. But with many Brits stuck abroad, London’s airports remain open and the government is chartering flights to bring those who are stranded back safely. Flights that bring vital medicine and food to the UK are also still operational.
Considering Europe’s busiest airport saw just shy of 81 million passengers go through its doors last year, the closure of a runway is a major step. That said, travel has been one of the hardest-hit industries, with many major airlines suspending operations indefinitely.
British Airways has stopped all flights from Gatwick and London City airport but is still running a reduced service from Heathrow. Indeed, London City has suspended all commercial and private flights, instead offering the government use of the airport, something that could be hugely beneficial given its proximity to the recently opened NHS Nightingale Hospital.
Unsure about what travel counts as essential? Get the lowdown on current restrictions in London here.