Circular runways: Engineer defends his proposal - BBC News


not sure if this is a good idea. What do you guys think about this idea?

UPDATE: now the engineer replies to internet opinions on ideas

"To start with, the idea is a concept and many questions I receive are very directly related to current day operations.
We must realize that it will take time before an endless runway can be brought into operation. It is like a concept car in a car exhibition - it will not be implemented exactly like this, but we learn a lot from the ideas, from simulations and, later on, practical tests.
If someone one hundred years ago would have said that we would be transporting as many passengers in aircraft as we would in trains, people may have thought , “a steam engine would never fit in an aircraft made of wood and ropes”.


How would you stay aligned in the center at 300 km/h? Is it on some sort of track?


i guess with just rudder and wheel like normal runway


This would be rather tough with cross winds…


This actually makes me lose respect for The BBC…


That start 🤣 We are totally going to start landing A380’s sideways 😂


i mean that was the whole point of this idea to make cross winds landings easier but it actually makes all landings not just crosswind harder lol all planes would have to be redesigned for landing on this runway.


might be a bit tough to land all planes sideways lol


AN225 coming in, Holy s***! Our wing just hit the ground as we touched down. I wonder why???


1.His first argument is already flawed. ‘To prevent crosswind landings’… if we had the money and land space at every airport to build a 3.5km diameter circular runway, we’d just build a second or third cross runway to prevent his ever-so-feared crosswind landings.

  1. How are the tyre walls on aircraft going to survive bank angles like that on the runway at 180knots!

  2. Three aircraft on the circle at once? Sounds like a massive case of unsafe runway incursions!

  3. What if you are 50 m late on your touchdown point? Now you’re shooting off the angle off the circle, without wings level, trying to initiate a bank angle to keep your centred!

  4. ILS, RNAV and every kind of approach I guess are no more?

  5. In terms of his noise impact, now every single house in a 10km radius around the airport is in a noise zone, devaluing ALL of those pieces of land as you can have approaches and departures over your house at anytime, rather than certain single pinpointed areas having the lesser value (which is known to the buyer), thus increasing value everywhere else

  6. every single issue he raises is literally solved by a current airport design with 3 regular runways at 120 degree different angles to each other.

  7. Most airports have regular seasonal weather. We don’t need circles, just design the airport with the prevailing weathers in mind (which we do). eg, LAX has 4 east west runways for the prevailing westerly winds, what’s a circle gonna do?

Whoever is paying this guy to talk, let alone do research, needs to seriously re-consider their life choices!


i know this idea makes no practical sense at all. Good idea still.


I would genuinely love to see his ideas about how to set up approach patterns through congested airspace to a runway system like this!

It’s sometimes hard to get a stable straight in approach with the restrictions placed upon ATC by geographic and airspace restrictions!

Ludicrous idea! (would like to give it a go in a simulator though!)


Go to the documents section…there are LONG , technical PDFs that explain everything.


Who thought this was a good idea? Its impossible to keep the plane in the center line at 150 kts.


It would be so easy to overshoot the runway


Imagine the lateral g posed on the wheels of a several hundred tonne aircraft barreling down ( sorry I mean around) the runway at at least 140 knots 😂

  1. He said the centrifugal forces would make it stay on a runway. Have you seen bikes go sideways!?
  2. I think that would require alot more management on the part of ATC, but because it’s the length of 3 runways, if they land equally apart, it should work.
  3. That would be…go around! If you can. Wait, would a go around now just be going around the circle?
  4. Well, he said you could land anywhere since it’s a circle, so maybe you use ILS to a certain point, atleast with glidescope?
    Ah. I give up.


I personally think it’s a cool idea. Then again, it is new. If they do build it, then we know it works. They aren’t going to build a deathtrap. It works in simulators, and all the physics I think are being tested, and a bunch of other stuff some of us might not have heard of.
Also, why is he talking to a wall in half of the video? And if there is a camera there, why do they show him talking to the wall?..


Though I have not read the article, I do not want circular runways. I would be impossible to keep going around on it, let alone take-off.


I think to make this go into action, many current procedures would have to be re-thinked.