Powder patrol: Heathrow Airport triples snow-fighting fleet

Ruth Doherty
Powder patrol: Heathrow Airport triples snow-fighting fleet
Powder patrol: Heathrow Airport triples snow-fighting fleet


With talk of the hottest October day on record happening this weekend, it's unpleasant to think winter at all, never mind the prospect of snow.

But experts have already warned that Britain could see snow falling as early as October, and Heathrow, for one, wants to be ready.

The airport's operator BAA has announced it has tripled its number of snow clearance vehicles, as well as the number of staff ready to clear snow, compared with last year, when heavy snowfall caused chaos as 4,000 flights were cancelled over five days before Christmas.

BAA now has boosted its snow-shifting machines from 47 to 185, and 468 staff per shift, compared with 117 last year, according to the BBC.

The move is part of a £50m snow-tackling plan, of which £32.4m has been spent so far in the war against bad weather, according to the publication of the Winter Resilience Enquiry Report.

The report also revealed plans for new airport control centre and better airport-to-passenger communication.

But Normand Boivin, chief operating officer of Heathrow, said there is 'more still to do'.

He told the BBC: 'There will be lots of attention on Heathrow the next time it snows heavily.

'We won't be perfect but we will be better and we will improve each time we practise our new response plans.

'There will still be times when, for safety reasons, airports have to close during severe weather, but the work detailed in today's report means this should happen less often at Heathrow and the airport responds better when it does.'