Heathrow alternatives – the Runwet

On a day when the big news in the UK was the Government’s long overdue approval for a third runway at Heathrow airport, a pilot in New York went out of his way (literally) to show how Gordon Brown et al could have saved £9 billion by simply utilising the River Thames as an alternative landing area.

Greenpeace: Nearly right. But… not. Now, go and have a wash.

I guess a few of the bridges may get in the way, but one must consider the advantages of a centrally-located landing area, ease of access to public transport (especially water taxis) and the picturesque views of London landmarks for passengers as they come in to land.  

Ladies and Gentlemen, on the starboard side of the aircraft, the Houses of Parliament and on the port side, County Hall and the London Eye.
Thank you for flying British Airways.
Lifejackets are located under your seats. Brace for impact.

This water-based option also provides the opportunity to open aquatic runways – or “runwets” as I like to call them – in smaller cities and towns*. Beautiful Cambridge might have to shift some of the punts off the tourist-laden Cam, but it would save that horrible cross country road trip to Luton and provide direct access to college for overseas students.

Further north, the planes could land on the crunchy crust of pollution that sits proudly atop the waters of the Mersey in Liverpool. It could be called the Paul McCartney Mersey Runwet, to go with the John Lennon Airport, situated so inconveniently out of town.

Cambridge and Liverpool – diverse runwets in the UK

If you think about it, runwets would be self-perpetuating. As more planes are able to take off and land from runwets worldwide, CO2 emissions will increase, global warming will accelerate, ocean levels will rise and there will be more space for more runwets. Pretty soon, the whole planet will be one big runwet and Kevin Costner will make a hugely expensive flop of a film about it.

Just remember – you read it here first. As usual.

* There will be no option to land at a runwet in Bloemfontein, as there is no water anywhere in the Free State. Fact.

5 thoughts on “Heathrow alternatives – the Runwet

  1. That is an awesome idea! Can i throw my name behind the campaign to open up the first runwet?

    Wiggy´s last blog post was: Happy Birthday (Note: 6000 miles… is not responsible for the content of external internet sites)

  2. Can we not just submerge Luton now and get it over with?

    Po´s last blog post was: Free willy (Note: 6000 miles… is not responsible for the content of external internet sites)

  3. People living in Sandton/Randburg could make use of the Braamfonteinspruit, although I’m not sure about the width of the river – perhaps only in summer, when they have flash floods?

    (This is from memory, as my dad lives along the river, and it would turn from trickling spruit to raging torrent within minutes, after the rains fell in Johannesburg!)

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