Gatwick Airport in the UK has expressed its anger at frequent flight cancellations by airlines following the forecast of bad weather conditions, including snow.
The airport has written to Patrick McLoughlin MP, Secretary of State for Transport, requesting a solution to help keep flight cancellations to a minimum due to bad weather conditions, a problem which has recently impacted on the travel plans of a significant number of business and leisure travellers.
Stewart Wingate, the airport chief executive officer, said, ‘It just cannot be right that passengers are being asked to accept apologies for pre-emptive flight cancellations. Huge numbers of business meetings and holidays will have been impacted and misery caused to travellers.
The over-scheduling of flights at Heathrow during the winter period should stop, but we also need to maintain and grow our connectivity to the world.
I am proposing that for the key winter months of December, January and February, Heathrow declares a level of capacity it can cope with in winter conditions. The additional flights then, for those three months, can move to Gatwick and Stansted.
As a result there would be better use of the existing capacity at our London airports, safety would be enhanced and passengers will not have to panic every time it snows. London’s and the UK’s reputation is on the line and the airports should work together to make this happen.’
The airport has recently introduced an £8 million snow fleet to keep its runways clear of snow. The new equipment includes 98 vehicles, with snowploughs, brushes, cutters, blowers, and de-icing vehicles.