Heathrow owner BAA have today vowed to invest £50million into the infrastructure of the airport, in an effort to avoid another snow crisis like the one in December that saw the airport shut down for two days.
The move is in response to a report that the company had commissioned after seeing 4,000 flights cancelled during the chaos caused by the snow.
The report, which was overseen by BAAs non executive director David Begg, called for significant improvement across the Heathrow operation.
Key points in the report focused on the fact the airport wasn’t geared up for the potential impact the bad weather could have had, that there was no agreed procedure between the airlines and airport to deal with the problems, and added that BAA did not have the necessary equipment to deal with the snow.
It also criticised the communication, both within BAA, with the airlines, and attacked the confusing and conflicting messages sent out to customers.
The report also estimated that the terminals were home to nearly 10,000 people on 18th December, the first night of the crisis, and that whilst blankets and water were supplied to some, not all customers were looked after.
The report, which made 14 recommendations, called for an improvement in the airports crisis management, and asked for a ‘snow plan’ setting out everybody’s individual responsibilities.
AS a result, BAA have vowed to spend £50million on new training, procedures and equipment for the airport.
Chief Executive, Colin Matthews said, “If the entire Heathrow community learns from this report, and works more collaboratively to promote passengers’ interests, then this is a pivotal moment for the airport and its reputation.”