UK mulling move to fine airports for service failure

Airports in the UK could have to shell out millions of pounds in fines in case of any repeat of the disruption following the total halt at Heathrow due to the freezing weather condition recently.

Thousands of people had to abandon plans for their Christmas holidays when the airport closed down with the runways under six inches of snow.

Demanding new powers for Civil Aviation Authority, transport secretary, Philip Hammond said it was unfair that BAA – which runs Britain's busiest airport faced no liability for punishment from the Civil Aviation Authority.

He added that passenger satisfaction and performance need to be given greater weight.

Meanwhile, a new bill to grant additional powers to the authority to impose fines is said to be underway.

According to sources, transport authorities knew that Heathrow neither had the equipment nor manpower to cope with the situation.