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Airport meltdown: London Luton Airport stops services due to extreme heat

London Luton Airport was forced to suspend flights as extreme temperatures caused issues with the runway after the current UK heatwave recorded its hottest day on Monday, reaching 38C.

London Luton Airport was forced to suspend flights as extreme temperatures caused issues with the runway after the current UK heatwave recorded its hottest day on Monday, reaching 38C.

Luton Airport, located north of London, said flights were suspended due to a “defect” in the runway after high temps caused a small section of the tarmac to lift.

“Following today’s high temperatures, a surface defect was identified on the runway,” the airport reported via Twitter on Monday.

“Engineers were called immediately to site and repair works are currently in progress to resume operations as soon as possible.”

The airport took to Twitter to announce that the runway reopened to departing and arriving flights three hours later with the runway fully operational as of 6:15pm local time.

Luton Airport is the fifth-busiest in the UK and serves as the base for budget airline Easyjet.

London’s transport woes continue with train services also cut as UK temperatures soar into the high 30Cs in the heatwave.

Hot air from Europe is contributing to the extreme heat in Britain, with a searing heatwave baking much of the continent, fuelling fierce wildfires in France and Spain.

The UK Health Security Agency has issued a level four heat-health alert – described as an “emergency” – and the UK is under its first red extreme heat warning for a large part of England, issued by the Met Office.

Reduced railway services and slower running times of trains have been put in place amid fears of rails buckling in the heat, with customers being advised to only travel if necessary on Monday and Tuesday.

Network Rail said the number of passengers using major stations across Britain on Monday was around 20 per cent down from a week ago, and road traffic was also down.

In London, congestion levels fell from 53 per cent on July 11 to 42 per cent on Monday.

There were also reduced services on the Tube and buses, as people heeded the advice to avoid travel if possible.

Luton Airport is the UK’s fifth-busiest airport and home base for LLC Easyjet. Image: Captain_Kangaroo/Shutterstock

Climate change, which has pushed up global temperatures by 1.2C on pre-industrial levels, is making heatwaves longer, more intense and more likely.

Experts have warned of the need to adapt homes, cities and infrastructure in the UK for a future of more intense summer heat.

Tuesday is predicted to be even hotter, with temperatures possibly reaching a “crazy” 41C in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire.

The existing UK record, of 38.7C, recorded in Cambridge in 2019, looks certain to fall amid the sweltering heat.

Via AAP