But trial means no extra flights will take place
In the first trial of its kind at Heathrow, both of its runways are now being used both for takeoffs and for landings simultaneously. This has always been banned at Heathrow in the past, the main reason being that it would lead to greater noise levels for local residents. But airport operator BAA stresses that there will be no additional flights and that the dual-runway use will be implemented only “temporarily to get flights back on schedule and avoid unscheduled night flights, which people disturbed by aircraft noise have reported as a key concern”.
In the trial, which ends on 29 February 2012 and will be repeated from 1 July until 30 September – to coincide with the Olympics – the airport will be permitted to use both runways if it’s likely that an aircraft will have to wait more than 10 minutes to land, if the schedule for arrivals or departures is likely to run later than 30 minutes, or if 30% of all flights are delayed by more than 15 minutes.
In related news, the UK government said again this week that it would not reverse its decision to build a third runway at Heathrow.