Britain Mulls Laws to Fine Airports After Snow Chaos

Monday, 27 Dec 2010 12:19 PM

 

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

LONDON, Dec 26 (Reuters) -- Britain is considering new laws to fine airport operators if they disrupt passengers' journeys due to poor planning, the government said Sunday, after snow led to widespread cancellations and delays last week.

Snow and ice grounded flights across Britain and northern Europe before Christmas, raising questions over whether airport operators should have been better prepared.

Transport Secretary Philip Hammond said managers at London's Heathrow, the world's busiest international airport, had badly underestimated how much de-icing fluid they would need.

One of two runways at Heathrow, owned by Spanish company Ferrovial, was closed for four days due to the snow and many planes were frozen in their parking bays.

European Commissioner for Transport Siim Kallas called the disruption unacceptable and said he may force airports by law to provide a minimum level of service during bad weather.

Britain's transport ministry said the disruption had highlighted the weakness of British aviation regulator's existing powers to hold airport operators to account.

"The government is committed to reforming the way airports are regulated, putting passengers at the very heart of how they are run," a Department for Transport spokeswoman said. "This will require primary legislation and we are considering options for how best to take this forward."

Any new laws could see the biggest airport operators granted licenses that they risk losing if they fail to cope with emergencies such as extreme weather, Hammond said in an interview with the Sunday Times newspaper.

"Because airports are ultimately strategic infrastructure, we probably need to have as a very last resort some powers to intervene in the way we don't have at the moment," Hammond was quoted as saying. His ministry did not give details of the timing and exact form of any new legislation on airport operators.

After recent criticism, BAA announced an inquiry into its handling of the icy weather and promised to spend an extra 10 million pounds ($15.44 million) on measures to cope with snow. ($1=.6478 Pound)



 

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

More Detainees Set for Release From Guantanamo

Thursday, 27 Nov 2014 22:34 PM

More detainees are slowly and quietly being released from U.S. detention in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, The Wall Street Journa . . .

Romney to GOP: Pass 'Permanent Clarification' of Immigration Laws

Thursday, 27 Nov 2014 21:45 PM

Mitt Romney is urging Republicans in the new Congress to come together, swallow hard, and pass a "permanent clarificat . . .

IRS Gave White House Thousands of Taxpayer Documents

Thursday, 27 Nov 2014 18:48 PM

The IRS improperly turned over thousands of confidential tax documents to the White House for review, according to infor . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved