Bullfrog: though BA does have limited de-icing rigs, it was not this which caused the delays. It was BAA’s inability to move snow away from the stands which meant there was no safe access for de-icing and other equipment. BA cannot be responsible for the airfield itself; that is firmly BAA’s responsibility and was the critical failure in the recent snow debacle.
FCman: This is not a government responsibility. The airports are privately run concerns, and it is for those companies to assess the financial implications of this on their own bottom line.
The government may have a role imposing better regulation onto the airport operators, but it is not the government’s role to provision, or set up, a centralised depot (which in itself would probably be of limited use in the most severe snow events as these usually impact all the airports in any given location at the same time, not to mention the logistical issues moving heavy plant around on icy roads).
Such depots exist at all major UK airports, there simply needs to be better investment to properly provision the existing depots with better and larger amounts of the right sort of snow clearing kit.
Willie speaks out:
I like this style of comms; not sure any other airline CEO communicates in this way. Let’s hope Keith Williams does the same.