Published on Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Severe snow disruption at Heathrow could happen again

Heathrow's chief executive Colin Matthews has said the severe snow disruption at Heathrow could happen again due to the packed schedule at the airport.

Hundreds of passengers were forced to spend the night at Heathrow over the weekend after 37% of flights were cut following heavy snow in London.

Bristol airport is still suffering severe disruption and Heathrow is still experiencing delays despite the snow thawing in many areas.

There is a weather warning for snow in eastern Scotland, an ice warning across much of the UK and weather reports suggesting on Friday there could be another spell of snow, especially to higher ground in northern Britain.

In an interview with the Telegraph, Colin Matthews said because Heathrow acts at capacity every day, flights cannot be rescheduled to arrive or leave later in the day if they are delayed due to the snow.

He said: "I would like to promise that it will never happen again. But I can't do that because it would be dishonest."

"While other airports can move flights to gaps later in the schedule, Heathrow cannot. It is full all day, every day - which is exactly why we have argued for the need for more capacity at London's hub airport.

"No matter how many snow ploughs an airport buys, no matter how many people it has on shift, no matter how good its planning, there are some physical limitations we have to accept. That is not to make excuses. It is simply a statement of fact."

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  • Downgrade Heathrow in winter!!

    If this airport cannot cope with what other airports consider a normal day on winter, then it should be downgraded and flights diverted to those that can handle 10cms of predicted snow. It is a national avation embarrasment every time it snows. Why not study the scandinavian or scottish airports or is that to much to think about. Sooner we say goodbye to BAA the better.

    By Peter Reeve, Thursday, January 24, 2013

  • Heathrow

    "Severe snow disruption at Heathrow could happen again." Get away, I don't believe it! If operating at max capacity on a perfectly normal day, what chance has LHR ever got of coping in times of even the slightest disruption? What better proof that it needs expanding - urgently. As usual with govenments, too much talking not enough doing!

    By Keith Standen, Wednesday, January 23, 2013

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