23 January 2013
Proposals by Gatwick airport that flight restrictions should be placed on Heathrow during the winter and excess services switched to Gatwick instead to reduce weather-related delays and cancellations have been opposed by airlines.
Dale Keller, chief executive of the Board of Airline Representatives UK, said it should not be for airports or the Government to decide where airlines and passengers fly.
"The major cost of delays and cancellations are borne by the airlines and their customers," he said. ""It is simply not cost effective for airlines to split operations over different airports for short periods and it is unlikely their customers would want this either."
Instead, he said the fact that Heathrow was forced to cancel and delay many flights this week and last due to snow, ice and fog proved the case for a third runway at the airport.
"This week's delays and cancellations demonstrate what the airlines have been saying for years, that additional runway capacity at the UK's hub airport is required to improve air transport resilience, not only international competitiveness and growth," he added.
"BAR UK will present the airlines' view to the Airports Commission as part of the forthcoming consultation on airport capacity."