Unprepared Heathrow refused to let airlines clear runways and had cut its snow defence budget
runways but were turned down for health and safety reasons, it emerged today.
offered BAA troops to de-ice the runways but were told that the operator could
handle it by itself.
airline said they asked to help because BAA was not clearing snow fast enough
but were told that it contravened health and safety rules.
airport had just 10 snow ploughs and seven de-icing vehicles. Gatwick, a much
smaller airport, has 14 snow ploughs.
long and should have been started earlier. There was not enough manpower available,
we were surprised how long it took to get things operational.
a lot of money to operate the airport and they refused to do that.”
to allow frustrated airlines to help.
approach to the weather. However, transport minister Theresa Villiers suggested
this morning that the regulations needed to be overhauled.
via new licence conditions.
then it could fine and then ultimately take away a company’s licence to operate
Heathrow cut snow defence budget by two-thirds
discovers Heathrow reduced its snow defence budget by two-thirds despite forecasting
record passenger numbers.
just £500,000 in the current financial year.
invested £8m in snow clearing equipment this year, and has ordered 6 new snow
ploughs from Zurich this month alone.
it plans to double its fleet from last weeks’ 47 to a total of 96. Gatwick currently
has 29 snow ploughs in its fleet.
of 69 vehicles allocated to keep the runways clear – including 28 snow ploughs.
cent, to £1.12bn, after reporting “robust trends” for the first three-quarters
of passengers passing through Heathrow to climb 6.2 per cent to “an all time record”
£1.5m mainly on de-icing fluid and storage for the fluid (each de-icer vehicle
holds 60,000 litres).
gauges to remotely measure de-icing levels, which helps to speed up the process
of ordering de-icer.
airport. An extra £500k was invested this year alone to upgrade equipment. In
line with our planned investment for the airport, we are looking to spend an additional
£3m on this airfield equipment in the next four years.”
the year, it is the only spend for 2010 within a pre-decided 5-year investment
programme that is approved by the Civil Aviation Authority.
website, Heathrow claimed it had “been working for months to ensure the UK’s hub
airport will once again be prepared for the onset of winter”.
Channel 4 News: “They are
having to spend money on de-icing planes because the planes are frozen, having
not moved because the runways haven’t been cleared. It’s up to the airport owner
to keep the runways clear so the planes can keep moving.
“competitive advantage” into line with each other.
in Mr Matthews’ forensic review.
told Channel 4 News: “Gatwick had its own recent two day closure, and learning from this ordered
more (snow ploughs).
with like – historically, the UK has not suffered from particularly heavy winters.
of lessons to be learned and actions implemented to cope better for the future.”
BAA to sell it on the basis of BAA’s dominance in the south-east as owners of
Heathrow and Stansted.
while a custom-made body can cost in excess of £200,000. These can be bought more
cheaply, but many airlines choose to buy premium products which are more expensive,
one supplier told Channel 4 News. Each of these would then have to be filled with
a full tanker load of de-icer, but Univar, the supplier of de-icing fluid for
Heathrow and other airports told Channel 4 News it could not give even a rough
estimate of this wide-ranging cost. A snowplough, however, such as the one used
by many airports in the UK generally costs between £20,000 and £25,000.
since acquiring the airport from BAA a year ago, even receiving two extra snowploughs
from Switzerland on Saturday morning. It plans to double its snow-clearing vehicles
from 47 to 95, spending £8m before next winter.
£6million on equipment to deal with snow and ice compared with last year. But
with pre-tax profits expected to near £1 billion this year, the operator has been
accused of failing to invest properly in equipment to cope with the extreme cold.
each worth £250,000, has failed to get the airport open because the ice is so