Snow at Heathrow airport restricts flights too

April 6, 2008 at 10:56 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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Fog and tropical storms are not the only reasons for weather-related delays here. Snow is just another one of nature’s treats to keep us on our toes:

A BA spokeswoman said that as well as the 12 shorthaul flights cancelled from T5 due to the ongoing difficulties with the baggage handling system, a further 50 flights – 25 in and 25 out – had been cancelled as both runways were temporarily shut due to snow.

Air Traffic Control imposed restrictions on the number of aircraft that could take off and land per hour as each runway was closed for de-icing, one after the other for 20 minutes each.

A BAA spokeswoman said that 12-mile spacings between planes were imposed while de-icing was in progress, rather than the normal three miles when both runways are in use and visibility is good.

She added: “Airlines are now having to de-ice their planes too.”

The job was completed by 7.30am, the spokeswoman added, and the runways were fully operational again by 9.20am.

from Times Online April 6, 2008 Heavy snow blankets Britain causing travel chaos.

(I wonder at what point in our history mankind thought we could plan for the best and ignore future weather conditions and other natural happenings when designing transport infrastructure? It seems the planners of aviation capacity design little slack into air transport systems that are regularly beset by a variety of ‘unforeseen’ circumstances.)



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  1. […] post by inel and software by Elliott […]

  2. Unsubstantiated rumours on the Prune forum have suggested that the de-icing equipment needed for a timely response to the event may still have been left at T4 and was unavailable for use at T5 on the day!

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