London’s Luton Airport closes runway destroyed by extreme heat


A runway at Luton Airport in London was closed for more than an hour on Monday after extreme heat caused part of the tarmac to warp.

« High surface temperatures caused a small section [of the runway] to lift,” the airport said in a statement.

Engineers on site repaired the tarmac and full service was restored at 6:15 a.m. local time Monday evening.

The international airport was not the only one affected by the heat – a Royal Air Force base, RAF Brize Norton, also temporarily closed its runway due to high surface temperatures.

The temperature in London on Monday hit 100.6 degrees Fahrenheit, just below the record high of 101.7 degrees set in 2019.

A heatwave is currently hitting the island nation, which is unaccustomed to such heat and where most buildings are not air-conditioned.

The airport shared a message about the closure.

The heat even led Parliament to temporarily relax its dress code, where lawmakers were told they were forgoing jackets and ties for the week.

Temperatures in southern Britain are expected to reach 104 degrees on Tuesday, part of a heatwave that has swept across Europe this week.

“We were hoping not to come to this situation, but for the first time, we are forecasting over 40°C [104F] in the UK,” said Dr Nikos Christidis, a scientist at the Met Office, the UK weather service.

London Luton Airport
Engineers repaired the tarmac and full service was restored on Monday evening.
SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
London Luton Airport
Other airports have been temporarily closed due to high surface temperatures.
SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

“Climate change has already influenced the likelihood of extreme temperatures in the UK. The chances of seeing 40C days in the UK could be up to 10 times more likely in the current climate than in a natural climate unaffected by human influence,” he said.

Currently, Spain and Portugal are fighting forest fires and the European Union sent a firefighting plane to Slovenia this weekend.

« We are of course continuing to monitor the situation during this unprecedented heat wave and will continue to mobilize the necessary support, » EU spokesman Balazs Ujvari said.

With post wires


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