Aviation experts across the world have held deliberations on the feasibility of having circular runways at the airports.
Here, we look at the benefits and risks of having circular or endless runways.
A circular runway.
Circular runways will occupy less space than long airstrips currently used for landing and take-off of planes. The aeroplane can move around the circular runway if it needs a longer runway.
The plane can take off from the circular runway by choosing the appropriate spot on the loop regardless of what the wind direction is.
As the circular runway has no end, researchers say it can manage four times of the present traffic of aircrafts.
Woah! That’s huge!
There can be multiple routes for flights to touch down or take off on circular runway. For this, every flight will have to be monitored with precision. A minor mistake can cause mishaps.
Noise levels may rise disproportionately if planes take off or land from all directions. It will trouble residents in neighbouring areas.
More navigation aids will be needed.
Major concern – Identifying the aiming point.
Before pilots land planes on the runway, they fix an aiming point where to land and also keep a threshold. But, identifying this in a circular runway will be difficult. Also, there are many unexpected events that can occur at the time of landing, such as, sudden rise and fall of air pressure, sudden head or tail winds, or just plain miscalculation.
Centrifugal force – another aspect of worry
This force is experienced by an object that moves in a circular fashion. This object tends to move out.
To counter this, more powerful engines, larger wings, less weight, more speed, and a larger radius/diameter for the circular runway are needed. Also, aeroplanes may have to be redesigned.