As air traffic continues to fall globally amid the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, Heathrow Airport will become a single runway airport temporarily from Monday 6 April. This means that the airport which has two runways, will operate its landings (arrivals) and takeoffs (departures) from one strip from Monday using mixed mode operations. The benefit of this new operation is to increase resilience and safety for staff, passengers and cargo throughout the COVID19 outbreak.
Under this new operation, Heathrow will alternate which runway it will keep open on a weekly basis and publish a new alternative schedule to ensure that all communities continue to get respite periods. For more details of the planned weekly alternation schedules visit heathrow.com/noise or view Heathrow's revised Runway Alternation Programme - 2020 landings. Heathrow has also indicated that it will be able to provide alternation on easterly operations (something it cannot provide during its usual schedule) because of the significantly lower number of aircraft using the airport.
About forty one percent (41%) of the nation's pharmaceutical products are being imported via Heathrow. Therefore, Heathrow is to remain open during this unprecedented pandemic so that it can continue to play a crucial role in helping to secure vital medical goods and food for the UK. It will however continue to review the situation alongside its single runway operation and will look to revert to its usual operation when the number of daily aircraft movements significantly increases.