Thursday, January 20, 2011

Airports must plan for snow storms, says EU

Terra Daily via AFP: The European Commission warned airports on Wednesday of looming regulation to prevent a repeat of the Christmas travel chaos and demanded to see battle plans for next winter. European transport commissioner Siim Kallas held a meeting with top executives from the biggest airports after December snow forced passengers to sleep at terminals when tens of thousands of flight were cancelled.

"Volcanic ash is difficult for the aviation industry to predict, but we know that winter arrives every year and we should be ready for it," Kallas said, referring to the Icelandic volcano eruption in April that closed much of Europe's airspace.

"If you have 30 centimetres of snow suddenly in central Europe it is something very exceptional. But if you have one centimetre of snow and you still have announcements that flights are cancelled, this I consider unacceptable," he said.

The transport commissioner urged airports to prepare winter contingency plans and make them public by October, adding that one key issue to correct is the lack of information provided to passengers….

De-icing an Austrian Airlines jet at Zagreb's airport, shot by Zeugma fr, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

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