BAA to spend £50 million on snow plan for Heathrow

Last winter, following inclement weather conditions several flights that were to land at London's Heathrow Airport had to be re-directed to Stansted Airport.

In a move to ensure that the airport is in a better position to deal with such weather conditions, the owner of Heathrow airport is drawing up plans to spend £50 million ($80 million) to improve its response to heavy snow and other emergencies.

The announcement to the effect came on Thursday after publication of an independent review that pointed to the problems in December that left thousands of passengers stranded thousands when operations ground to a halt at Europe's busiest airport.

According to the independent review, Heathrow was not in a position to deal the heavy snow that fell 18-23 December, and communication failures within airport owner BAA Ltd and between BAA, airlines and passengers aggravated problems when the snow fell.

BAA has said it would present its new resilience plan to airlines and regulators next month.

It has been proposed that the airport would improve its crisis management system as also its communication systems between passengers and the airport community. The investment would also improve passenger support and care.

According to BAA's chief executive Colin Matthews, the company clearly understood its role in keeping Heathrow open, but to do that and to achieve the highest standards of passenger care, it would need to work more closely and collaboratively with airlines as also the airlines with the company, and all agreed on the necessary training and investment.