A new report reveals that air traffic controllers at Stansted Airport dealt with a total of four low-fuel emergencies on the same day - including two from Virgin Atlantic passenger jets.
The Daily Mail
reports that an investigation by the Exaro website found that, one of these was a 'mayday' call.
Two of the planes involved were Virgin 747s, which needed priority landing after flying in from America.
However, Virgin Atlantic said that neither of the planes - called Jersey Girl and Hot Lips - issued maydays, but had been diverted from Gatwick due to high winds.
A spokesperson said: "Due to severe and abnormal weather conditions, two flights in January 2012 were diverted to Stansted.
"Our fuel management procedures are approved by the CAA and comply with all industry regulations."
On the same day, an Embraer 190 was diverted to Southampton and put out a mayday over fuel.
Alarmingly, the Civil Aviation Authority has revealed that, in the last two years, there have been at least 28 cases of UK passenger airlines having low-fuel emergencies while flying to British airports.
Of these, three were mayday calls made in the first five months of 2012.
The Daily Mail reports that commercial passenger airlines are legally required to have enough fuel to reach their destination and perform a 'go-around' - where the landing is aborted and the plane flies around the airport for another attempt - and divert to another airport as well as staying in a holding pattern for 30 minutes.
Click on the image below to see some of the world's scariest airports...
- Barra Airport, Scotland
Planes can only land here when the tide is out. Washed by the sea twice a day, Traigh Mhor runway is reputed to be the only beach runway in the world to handle scheduled airline services.</p>
- Courchevel Airport, France
This Alpine airport is home to an extremely short uphill runway (1,722 feet) - and there's a vertical drop at the end. Oh, and then there's the wind, sleet and snow - all of which play havoc with all things airbourne.</p>
- Princess Julianna Airport, St Maarten
A gateway airport to many smaller Caribbean islands including St Barts and Anguilla, planes landing at St Maarten Airport provide a great photo opportunity from Maho beach.</p>
Skimming over the beach towards the 2,300m runway, this stretch of coastline sees a lot of daily traffic with the airport servicing around about 100,000 flights a year.</p>
- Congonhas Airport, Brazil
Located around five miles from the centre of Sao Paulo, Congonhas is one of the busiest airports in Brazil. The proximity to the city centre means it may feel like you're skimming the tops of skyscrapers as you land and take off.</p>
- Toncontin Airport, Honduras
Landing at Toncontin Airport is particularly challenging for pilots due to its proximity to the mountains. In 2008 after a tragic plane crash, the airport was closed to international traffic. A major review of airport safety took place and in May 2009 a runway extension was completed. But despite this, it still has one of the shortest international runways in the world.</p>
- La Aurora Airport, Guatemala
An approach to this airport means traversing mountainous terrain and this sometimes involves flying over occasionally active volcanoes. A recent eruption from the Pacaya volcano in 2010 caused the airport to close. Planes run the risk of ending up covered in ash, as this image of a just-landed American Airlines jet shows...</p>
- Caracas Airport, Venezuela
Located in the Maiquetia region of Caracas, this international airport handles flights to many important cities in the Americas, the Caribbean, Europe and the Middle East. Its proximity to buildings and mountains make it a technically very difficult landing strip.</p>
- Ice Runway, Antarctica
Used mainly by the US Antarctica Program during the summer, this sea-ice runway has to be constructed every year as it melts around December time. Pilots who've landed on the ice say it's much like landing on concrete initially, but when the plane comes to a standstill its wheels sink a into the ice. <a href="http://travel.aol.co.uk/2011/06/09/revealed-the-worlds-worst-airlines/" target="_blank"><strong>Don't miss our feature: Revealed! The world's worst airlines!</strong></a></p>
- Kai Tak Airport, Hong Kong
Pilots had to be extremely skilled to negotiate numerous skyscrapers and mountains before landing on a runway jutting out into Victoria Harbour.</p>
Between 1925 and 1998 Kai Tak served as the main airport in Hong Kong. It has now been replaced by a new airport at Chek Lap Kok.</p>
- Gibraltar Airport
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