After the arguments surrounding the confirmation that a controversial third runway is to get the go ahead at Heathrow, Britain’s largest airport found itself facing very different difficulties last week when the heaviest snow for many years saw it come to a virtual standstill.
Heathrow seemed to fare far worse than many of the other airports, with The Telegraph reporting that nearly 800 flights were cancelled due to the bad weather, with countless more suffering terrible delays. For a time, the 11 cm of snow that fell at the airport caused both of its runways to be closed, causing absolute havoc.
The main flights to suffer were the short-haul flights, with the long-haul flights taking priority. Many of the flights were simply diverted to other airports across the country, which will have caused a lot of upset and hassle for many passengers.
The bad weather led to one potentially serious event when a Cyprus Air plane skidded off the runway and lodged its front wheel into the grass at the side.
According to the BBC, this was the last flight to land before the runways were closed, and when it comes to such serious incidents then the authorities really would not have had a choice.
But the question remains as to how such a relatively minor amount of snow, when compared to other countries at least, can lead to such chaos. However, the truth is that the rarity of such weather means that it simply does not make sense for Britain to invest in the snow-clearing facilities that other countries, which experience such conditions every year, make use of.