‘Over water’ flights are not plain sailing
I DO not agree with the person who wrote the letter (Gazette 2/11 with the heading, ‘The wrong place for third runway’.
The writer states that unlike Heathrow, a Thames/Medway Airport would provide an approach over water. Well if the final approach was on a westerly runway then it could possibly fly over water.
If the aeroplane was landing on an easterly runway, to approach over water it would have to weave about trying to follow the meandering of the River Thames. Also the Thames is part of the very busy helicopter routes that crisscross London. Helicopters weaving about at low altitude is fine but it is not for very large passenger aeroplanes on their final approach.
Aeroplanes normally land and take off into wind or as close to that as possible. They also need to fly long and straight in approaches which in the case of Heathrow starts well to the east of London, so which ever runway was being used that day, then either during taking off or landing they would still have to overfly densely populated areas of London and its suburbs.
So the so-called risk is just as applicable at a Thames/Medway airport as it is at Heathrow. BARRY NELSON-WEST Granville Road Hillingdon