Major innovation in aviation is rare, but when it happens, it can impact millions of people. That’s what Henk Hesselink of the Netherlands Aerospace Center is hoping to achieve with his idea for circular runways at airports around the world. The 2.1 mile-wide runway systems would be safer, more efficient, and less noisy, Hesselink asserts in a BBC report.
The idea is that the runways, which would be slightly banked toward the center, would allow up to three simultaneous landings, avoid the dangers of scary crosswinds, and ensure that neighbors on all sides of an airport would be subject to equal airplane-related noise. Hesselink’s idea is nowhere close to implementation, but it’s a clever take on a global system with many inefficiencies. Of course, there’s no way to know if millions of airplane passengers would be willing to land in the way Hesselink imagines, let alone whether it’s safe enough for aviation regulators to get on board.