A report in the London Evening Standard states that more than 260 planes landed at Heathrow with low fuel, engine problems or other technical faults in the last five years, according to official figures.
Sixteen aircraft with low fuel, 34 with engine problems, and 216 with other difficulties touched down there between 2009 and 2013. Many of the pilots would have demanded priority to land given their situation.
There were 51 such incidents in 2013, 40 in 2012 and 66 in 2010.
Zac Goldsmith, Conservative MP for Richmond Park, said: “Anyone will be shocked to see these figures. It’s yet another reason why we should not be massively increasing, possibly doubling, air traffic over Heathrow.”
He has led the campaign against a third runway at Heathrow but it has been shortlisted for expansion by the Airports Commission.
Two reported near-misses involving planes using Heathrow are also being investigated. The most recent was between a Boeing 747 and a private jet in November last year, and a regional jet and a paraglider two months earlier.
Overseas Aid Secretary Justine Greening, MP for Putney and an- opponent of Heathrow expansion, has warned about the risks of a plane crashing on London, possibly due to a terror attack. But a Heathrow spokesman said it is “one of the safest airports in the world”.