Heathrow Airport’s disastrous response to the snow has been slammed, as has BAA’s decision to turn down
David Cameron’s offer of military aid to clear the runways. There are calls for BAA boss Colin Matthews to be denied his fat
bonus this year.
Snow and ice have caused havoc for airlines
this week, with millions of travellers’ Christmas plans in ruins.
Heathrow has been the worst affected and yesterday was still operating
only a third of its scheduled flights.
Secretary Philip Hammond met BAA chairman Sir Nigel Rudd to discuss the
possibility of sending troops in to help Heathrow get back on its feet
again by clearing snow off the runways.
BAA’s decision to turn down the offer has angered the thousands of
travellers still waiting to get flights from Heathrow. The airport
staff’s GMB Union called the refusal “scandalous”.
Minister David Cameron said: “I’m frustrated on behalf of all those
affected that it’s taking so long for the situation to improve.”
has also emerged that BAA spent only £500,000 preparing for winter
weather this year, whereas the owners of Gatwick invested £8million.
paltry figure spent by Heathrow’s owners is even more galling in light
of the fact that BAA boss Matthews earned double the figure – £1
million – this year and will also be receiving a bonus.
Jones of Birmingham, the former trade minister under Labour, told the
Telegraph that Heathrow was the “laughing stock” of Europe.
“He [Mr Matthews] should not be getting a bonus when he has diminished Britain’s global brand,” Jones said.
Despite Heathrow’s chaotic handling of the snow crisis, the airport will not face any comeback from airport regulators CAA.
Although the authority can fine airports for poor service, effective bad weather strategy is not included in targets.
Heathrow will continue to run a restricted service until tomorrow.