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Old 17th Jan 2013, 08:43
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Thunderbug
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Farnham, UK
Posts: 323
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Buster11

As the article that Dave posted indicates, they have made many changes recently. They have loads of new gear for snow clearance ops (the joke recently during our very wet summer was that all this wonderfully new shiny gear would rust away before it got to tackle any snow). The have lots of people trained up too. What they don't have is experience and space (real estate).

The usual scenario is the runways are restored to blacktop very quickly - but the terminal areas are left to later. The airport authority then tells the airlines that the stands are unuseable due to snow. LHR always tight on parking - so two useable runways are wasted, as everybody diverts due lack of a parking space!

Parking space is also at a premium as aircraft remain on stand awaiting deicing. Unfortuately, keen as they are, LHR has only a few experienced deicing teams. Many are volunteers drafted in for the winter. Consequently quantity in both fluid & time seems to trump quality; 30min+ to deice an A320 would be typical. Big Airways now has a couple of remote deicing points to relieve pressure on T5 and initial indications from last week seem to be positive.

For the next 24 hours - Tricky to forecast! Met man hedging his bets. Light snow from late morning, but the timing of the heavy snow is not certain. Friday evening maybe just as bad as Saturday.

I foresee HAL direct the airlines to cancel 30% of flights to ease the capacity pressure. LHR did this on a previous snow event and it did help. CDG & FRA do similar directives. Delays and cancellations will occur. If you do have the opportunity to travel Friday - that may be easier. I'm sure you will eventually get to your destination - just bring a good book! Good Luck!

T'Bug

Last edited by Thunderbug; 17th Jan 2013 at 09:27. Reason: Checked the wx...!
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