A Dutch team of aerospace engineers led by Henk Hesselink argue that future airports should be built with circular runways rather than linear ones. This would give pilots flexibility during variable weather conditions and allow for an easier traffic flow. In 2017, Hesselink spoke to International Airport Review about these advantages:
This runway is a circle, that has no limitations on where to take-off or land on this circle. This makes it possible to fly in from or out to any direction. The size of the circle is pretty large, its diameter is 3.5 kilometres. Total length of the runway therefore is 10 km. This means that passengers during take-off or landing will not feel like they are in a roller coaster, a maximum of 1.2g forces will be experienced, similar to a train on a curved track. A typical landing only requires a part of the runway with a limited curve.
Current airports operate runways with fixed directions, so a limited number of directions is available for take-off and landing. During a storm, the capacity of the runway is limited because of this. This fixed direction also means that some communities experience more noise than others.
At the Endless Runway, aircraft have the possibility to land anywhere on the circle. This gives the possibility to find always at least one point where there is no crosswind and only headwind. This means that the airport can operate a sustainable capacity.
-via Dave Barry | Photo: Netherlands Aerospace Center