Reuters - Jamie Freed

The temporary disruption at London's Luton Airport on Monday [18 July 2022] when soaring temperatures caused a small section of the asphalt to lift is an example of the challenges airports face in making their infrastructure resilient to climate change, experts say.

A long-standing patch repair to a small section of the runway - the equivalent of 0.2% of the entire surface area - became so hot that it de-bonded and began to lift, a spokesperson for the airport said on Friday, adding it was repaired within two hours.

Runway patches are only one of the potential challenges faced by airports as temperatures rise, with others including airplanes requiring longer take-off distances and weight restrictions in hotter conditions.

As temperatures get warmer, aeroplanes need a longer time and more fuel to take off, because hot air is thinner.

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