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The Endless Runway: A Revolutionary Concept in Aviation

A major constraint in air transport is insufficient capacity at airports. Every year the number of travelers increase. As a result, airports struggle to create room to keep up with the ever-increasing number of travelers. Physical limitations such as lack of space for expansion, make it difficult to improve conventional airports. That is why Dutch scientist Henk Hesselink believes circular runways are the future of aviation. So, he came up with The Endless Runway.

The Endless Runway

After years’ long research on the optimization of airports, Hesselink found that circular runways have many benefits. They are less noisy and friendlier to the environment.

He developed The Endless Runway, a radical shift in the way airports are conceived. By removing the physical limitations of conventional runways, the concept of The Endless Runways generates a breakthrough in sufficient airport capacity. It does that by allowing airplanes to shift the points of lift-off and touchdown.

“The concept of the circular runway is that planes can land and take off at any point in the circle”, Hesselink told Dutch broadcaster NOS. Airplanes regularly face difficult moments while trying to land in extreme weather conditions, such as crosswinds. Hesselink’s runway prevents this because pilots can land in whatever direction they consider most favorable. The circular runway needs a diameter of 2.2 miles at a minimum, with the airport located centrally.

Additionally, The Endless Runway is more friendly to the environment. Airplanes will not have to circle around airports as often, and thereby they use less fuel. Noise pollution can be reduced or is more evenly spread out with a circular runway.

Hesselink accepts that it will take many years before his concept will become a reality and be implemented. Existing airports generally do not have the possibility to be converted, because of the enormous costs it would bring. His hope is that the circular runway will become a serious option for newly build airports.

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