Once in ten years is indeed “regular” but it is not frequent.
I don’t, for instance, have snow tyres and only recently invested in an ice scraper, though I do ensure I have de-icer in my car, and anti-freeze in my car’s reservoir. It’s a case of having an appropriate, proportional response to the likelihood of being affected. If I lived in Sweden, that decision would be different.
In fact if you look at snow reports for the UK, you can see that in the mid-2000s we had an extended period of snow-free winters:
Stockholm and Zurich can afford to invest in large amounts of snow equipment as the incidence of snow days is considerably higher, affecting the cost-benefit equation considerably.
I do think BAA and the airlines should invest some more in snow clearing/de-icing equipment, but at the same time this has to be cost effective, and it has to be balanced against the many other demands on capex (T5, refurb of T4, T2 demolition, T5C) at a time when cash is especially tight.
As is illustrated fully, using references, AMS was just as badly affected as LHR late last week; the cancellation board I referenced was hardly evidence of being “well prepared”. Indeed if you go to their website right now http://www.schiphol.nl/index_uk.html you will see this on the Schipol homepage:
“Delays and cancellations
Due to weather conditions in Europe flights are delayed or cancelled. Please see the latest flight information on this website or contact the website of you airline. Before travelling to the airport we kindly advise you to check the latest flight information. If your flight is cancelled, please contact your airline before travelling to the airport.”
It is simply not accurate to claim that AMS was unaffected, and Frankfurt and many other European airports were similarly affected.
As ever, the above post makes sweeping demands for the wholesale sacking of a management team seem to be the typical panacea to any perceived difficulties. That approach is possibly the worst way to resolve such a problem.
LHR snow management is indeed a shambles, but this is not related in any way to the nationality of the management (BAA is a Spanish owned company, not British) as is suggested in your posts, and which most sensitive people might suggest verges on the racist.
LHR is one of the busiest airports in the world, running at capacity, on one of the relatively smallest sites, with operational restrictions (such as opening curfews) not seen at other airports. There are a number of operational, investment and managerial issues which need to be addressed, and improvements do indeed need to be made, but these are not simple changes to make.
Suggesting LHR should sack its management, invest £10m+ in snow/de-icing equipment, purchase new land and drainage systems for remote de-icing is simply unrealistic.
And MarkRoberts9 still hasn’t learned the difference between its and it’s.