Over half the flights scheduled to land at Heathrow are enforced to circle before they can get a landing spot on one of the busiest airports in the UK. Figures show that on a normal day the wait can be approximately 20 minutes and in case the weather is bad, flights can also be required to wait for close to 45 minutes.
Interestingly, in aviation lingo this holding pattern is called stack. The weird part is that sometimes the time spent by flights waiting to get a landing slot is as long as the flight duration. This is especially true for flights coming in from Holland, France and Belgium.
The above mentioned information is based on data collected from NATS, the company that manages air traffic control at Heathrow. The available statistics should probably compel the Government to consider building a third runway at Heathrow. The proposal of a third runway had been submitted but it faced opposition from certain ministers and backbenchers. A third runway might not resolve the issue completely, but will bring at least some respite to the harried passenger’s who spend unnecessary time in mid air, waiting for their turn to land.
There is news that Justine Greening, the secretary for transport is working out tactics and will come out with some concrete plans within a few weeks.