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  • UPDATED 30 SEPTEMBER 2020

    Repairs to our southern runway are due to be complete ahead of schedule and we are expecting this to be completed by Saturday 3 October at 07:00. We will, therefore, return to normal runway operations from this time, as published in our runway alternation schedule.

    We were only able to operate from the northern runway during certain time periods while the repair works were completed. We appreciate this may have caused disruption for some local communities, however, by undertaking the repairs while flight volumes were significantly lower than normal we have been able to carry them out in the fastest and most efficient way. This should minimise unplanned repairs in the future, causing less disruption to both our operations and local communities.

    Approximately every 10 years, full-length resurfacing works take place on each runway - the last time this was carried out to the southern runway was in 2013. The next resurfacing works for the southern runway are planned for 2022/23 and these works will now be simplified as a result of the repairs carried out this year.

    The following videos explain more about the runway repairs.

    Repairs explained – Part 1

    Repairs explained – Part 2

    Our southern runway repairs team
    Phase 1 – full closure of the southern runway 

    In the first phase, from 13 July to 2 August 2020, the southern runway was fully closed (day and night) so that we could carry out more extensive repairs that require deeper excavation. During this period, only the northern runway was in operation.

    Because of the length of time required to carry out this type of repair, it was not possible to carry out these repairs overnight as we have done for previous runway maintenance, such as routine runway resurfacing or the works in Phase 2.

    Phase 2 – overnight closure of the southern runway

    In the second phase, from 2 August 2020 to 3 October, the works continued overnight from Monday to Friday 8pm - 7am, but both runways were in use during the day and on Saturday and Sunday nights. During this period, we followed the published runway alternation schedule. At 8pm each evening, the southern runway was closed until 7am the following morning - meaning the northern runway was the only runway in use during that time. During phase 2 the repairs were less extensive so there was enough time to carry out the repairs overnight and have the southern runway serviceable again by the next morning. The works were paused from 22 August at 7am until 1 September at 8pm to allow us to transition to the next stage of the works.

    We would like to assure you that Heathrow remains committed to finding ways to reduce the impact of our operations, working closely with our local residents and industry partners such as our airlines and NATS air traffic controllers.