Heathrow’s boss pocketed a £151, 000 pay rise last year despite admitting the airport had been “overwhelmed” by snow in the run up to Christmas.

Colin Matthews, chief executive of BAA, saw his pay increase from £820,000 in 2009 to £971,000 for 2010.

This is despite the fact that Heathrow practically ground to a standstill when heavy snow fell just before Christmas.

In the ensuing chaos scores of flights were cancelled leaving hundreds of passengers stranded at the airport, some of whom had to camp in terminals and others who failed to get to their destinations in time for Christmas.

Heathrow slammed for snow chaos

Facing the House of Commons Transport Committee earlier this week, Matthews admitted that Heathrow had planned for only 6cm of snowfall.

Matthews agreed to forego his annual bonus for 2010 which was believed to be around £400,000.

BAA said: “Colin Matthews’ basic salary increased by 3.6% in 2010. The numbers in the annual accounts reflect the fact that since April 2010, pension payments are paid directly to Mr Matthews and no longer to his pension scheme.”

Matthews also stands to receive a long-term incentive scheme bonus in 2012 if BAA meets performance targets.