Heathrow Airport plans underground runway heating

Heathrow Airport plans underground runway heatingHeathrow Airport could invest in underground heating in order to rid its runways of snow and ice, thus keeping the hub up and running during the winter months.

Last year, the airport was hit by a bad spell of weather, causing problems for five days and leading it to cancel around 4,000 flights.

"It’s not the snow that caused problems last year, it was the ice. We are working on a concept to capture geothermal energy from the surface of the tarmac … during the summer, to then provide a heating capability so the stands don’t freeze in the winter," British Airports Authority (BAA) capital projects director Steve Morgan told Building magazine.

He added that while investigations are still in the early stage, the idea is that the slabs of concrete which the plans take off and land on would be heated to just above freezing.

Recently, BAA promised that it would invest £50 million in Heathrow following last winter's problems.

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