UK: Air traffic briefly suspended at Luton airport as hot weather 'melted' the runway

London, UKEdited By: Srishti Singh SisodiaUpdated: Jul 19, 2022, 12:34 AM IST


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Hot weather in UK: The Met Office issued a red extreme heat warning in much of England, with temperatures set to hit 41C on Tuesday (July 19) 

Luton airport in Britain's London had to briefly suspend operations on Monday (July 18) after a runway "defect" was spotted. Airport officials said that extreme heat had caused the runway damage. Military and civilian flying operations were disrupted. 

Britain, France and some other European countries are currently in the grip of a fierce heatwave, facing record temperatures. 

Particularly in the UK, the situation is alarming with the Met Office issuing a red extreme heat warning in much of England, with temperatures set to hit 41C on Tuesday (July 19). 

In Britain, the weather forecasters have warned the locals regarding the extreme heat. The authorities have noted that the country is unprepared for the weather that is putting lives at risk. 

Meanwhile, the brief suspension of operations at the Luton airport was quite alarming. Reports have mentioned that the airport is used by airlines including EasyJet, Wizz Air, Ryanair and TUI. 

FlightRadar24 data showed that around 14 flights were diverted to other airports including Gatwick and Stansted. They were due to land at Luton. 

As quoted by The Guardian, the passengers on one incoming easyJet flight were told they were being diverted because of "bits of tarmac melting" on the runway. 

With a message of apology, the airport tweeted: "Following today's high temperatures, a surface defect was identified on the runway." 

Later, the runway was reopened to departing flights and arrivals after repairs. 


The "bits of tarmac melting" report appeared to be sounded bizarre. Is it really possible ofr got the weather to melt the materials used to make the airport runways? 

The Guardian report quoted a National Highways spokesperson that asphalt on minor roads could reach the melting point. The main strategic roads were engineered to be resilient to temperatures of more than 60C, and there were no reported problems. 


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