Should the airlines sue BAA plc for compensation for their lack of preparedness in the recent weather events at LHR?
I think we all recognised that recent temperatures and heavy snowfall in a short space of time over one of the busiest weekends on an airfield at capacity and without additional land to park planes up until the weather improved was bound to create some significant disruption.
But at the same time, it has take literally days to re-open both runways, and stands were barely touched as there simply wasn’t the kit available to remove snow from these areas.
BAA said it spend £500,000 on new snow kit for this season, but for an airport of such size, this is barely replacement level of investment and pales into insignificance when set against the £1bn++ profit Ferrovial made from its BAA ownership last year. £500,000 was used to purchase two – yes just TWO – snow ploughs.
For a useful benchmark, the new owners of Gatwick recently invested £8m in snow clearing equipment, an this appears largely the reason LGW was able to open and recover from inevitable disruption faster than LHR.
Should airlines (and individuals) sue BAA plc for incompetence?