‘Over wa­ter’ flights are not plain sail­ing

Harefield Gazette - - OPINION -

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

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