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UK airports inability to deal with snow

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UK airports inability to deal with snow

Old 2nd Feb 2019, 14:38
  #41 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by SMT Member View Post
It's also worth mentioning that it's the airports who'll have to finance the equipment, but the airlines who'll be bearing the compensation (EU261) claims.
This is the essence of it. While EU261 is well intended from a consumer point of view, it is fundamentally flawed that it puts the blame squarely on the airlines, and does not include service providers (airports, ATC, etc) higher up the food chain. Airports are natural monopolies, no matter whether ownership is public or private, and will only spend money on things they are compeled to do so.

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Old 2nd Feb 2019, 14:59
  #42 (permalink)  
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Don’t think you can claim EU261 for weather.
The Airlines are liable for welfare and onward travel costs though.
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Old 2nd Feb 2019, 16:58
  #43 (permalink)  
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[cynicism]There is no financial incentive for UK airport operators to invest in de-icing/snow clearing equipment. If they have passengers stuck in their shopping malls, I mean terminals, they are still making money.
Meeters and greeters are still paying for parking while waiting for delayed pax and the airport is still making money. [/cynicism]

Where I work we had 30cm of snow last Monday afternoon/evening. The airport slowed to a crawl but there was always at least one runway available. There were many diversions and cancellations but there were still about 600 movements (50% of normal January day) and yet there were complaints that we should have done better.

They were still scraping compacted snow off the taxiways yesterday after 4 days because temperatures never got above -10C and spent a lot of time around -20C (-30s with the wind chill). Because of the cold, ground crews had to go inside regularly to warm up and arrivals weren't parked for up to a couple of hours because of the extended time needed to service each flight. Inbound flow control was necessary to avoid gridlock. There were up to 30 flights on the ground waiting for gates!

Bad weather is expected here, we have the equipment for it and still it causes disruption.
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Old 2nd Feb 2019, 21:28
  #44 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Skyjob View Post
Maybe it's time next time runway works are carried out to install subterranean heat sources, keeping the ground/runway just warm enough to keep melting the snow on the rare occasions it does fall in theUK.
Small investment, lasting results, no training required, no machines to maintain and crews to train

$53m to install and $8,250 for each hour of operation
PerPurumTonantes is online now  
Old 3rd Feb 2019, 06:44
  #45 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: south england
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We had an interesting meeting with LGW airfield ops team a few years ago where we asked many questions related to operations in cold weather/snow.

One issue here, and the reason they have a back to black policy, is due to the temperature. When it snows here the temperature is normally around 0 degrees so the state of the snow is always changing, which means by the time you pass a runway contaminant and depth it has changed. To avoid any potential law suit they ensure the runway is clear.
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Old 4th Feb 2019, 18:23
  #46 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2000
Location: London, UK
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Itís money.

So if snow is not exceptional weather (in the UK it really isnít) insist the airlines automatically pay delay compensation to those affected.

heathrow 150k (say) passengers a day at EUR 250 each is EUR 37mm a day.

That would change the dynamic.

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Old 4th Feb 2019, 18:25
  #47 (permalink)  
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Or make the airports pay who are responsible for keeping the airport open, not its users (airlines).
Then airport money has to be used for either equipment or compensation claims.
Airlines should not be burdened by the airport's lack of capability
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Old 4th Feb 2019, 18:32
  #48 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2000
Location: London, UK
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Airlines are an informed buyer of a service from an airport. They set the service level agreement. Just like for fuel, baggage handling, food. The passenger has s contract with the airline, not the airport. If the airline hurts, they will get the airport to sort it.
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Old 4th Feb 2019, 18:46
  #49 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Sailvi767 View Post

Keflavik as about enough storage and deice capacity to cover 15 minutes of departures from London Heathrow!
Not when i was there. Check your facts.
tubby linton is online now  
Old 5th Feb 2019, 11:59
  #50 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2006
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To answer JimJim1 and others.
The UK is in a 'maritime' climate zone and its climate is driven by the Atlantic. The Atlantic affects most of North West Europe but to a lesser extent. The Atlantic has what is known as the Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation (AMO). For the last few decades the AMO has been in its 'positive' phase that is the water is warmer than 'normal' there are some indications that it is about to move into its negative phase and everything will cool down. See the diagram below

While this does not explain all the weather as the cool ocean also affects (and is affected by) atmospheric circulation it does raise (or lower) the chances of precipitation in the winter falling as snow in UK. As it is multi-decadal an entire career can exist in one phase of the AMO. So it is not simple to just 'rely on experience' due to our fleeting existence. Also, linear projections do not work on sine waves, so just because we have worked all the time on the rising side of the sine wave seeing less and less snow, we cannot assume that there will not be a descent back in a few years with more and more snow.
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