December 12 2013 Latest news:
Saturday, January 19, 2013
The number of flights at Heathrow Airport will be cut by one fifth tomorrow after more snow was forecast.
Airport, airline, and air traffic control bosses made the decision to change the schedule to minimise anticipated disruption caused by the ongoing bad visibility.
The Met Office has forecast further snow on Sunday with accumulation of up to 6cm.
Details of the flights affected will be released by the airlines as and when they finalise their schedules. Cancellations could take place at other European airports because of the adverse weather.
A Heathrow Airport spokesman said: “When there is low visibility, more space has to be left between aircraft.
“Many airports have plenty of spare runway capacity so aircraft can be spaced out more during low visibility without causing delays and cancellations. “Because Heathrow operates at almost full capacity, there is simply no room to reschedule the delayed flights.
The west London airport has been dogged by complaints from weary passengers forced to camp out overnight after more than 400 flights were axed on Friday and 100 today. One travel writer compared conditions at Terminal 5 to a “refugee camp”.
Heathrow chief operating officer, Normand Boivin, said: “We apologise for the disruption caused to passengers by the expected snow and low visibility.
“Cancelling flights in advance of disruptive weather is a procedure used increasingly around the world, as it means the greatest number of passengers can fly with the minimum amount of disruption.”