Travel chaos has returned to the north-east of the United States after a huge winter storm moved up from the south of the country. The mammoth storm has affected people in over 22 states - from Texas to Maine - and caused at least 12 deaths so far.
Thousands of flights have been cancelled in North America after winter storms swept the United States and Canada. Some 7,741 flights were delayed and 3,483 were cancelled in the United States on Sunday, with hundreds more under threat today.
Heavy snow and icy conditions have caused delays and disruption to flights across the UK as the winter weather continues with a number of airports and roads being closed.
Flight schedules in the UK have been hit by weather disruption, with London Heathrow Airport forced to cut one in ten flights today. Following a joint decision by Heathrow, airlines and air traffic control, the flight schedule at Heathrow was be reduced in order to minimise the expected disruption.
Heathrow Airport passengers have been facing further delays today with approximately 20% of flight cancellations due to snow.
Flights have been disrupted across Europe following heavy snowfall. Delays to train services in France, Germany and the Netherlands have also been reported as snow falls across the north of the continent.
London Stansted Airport has been forced to close its single runway due to heavy snow fall closed. Passengers using the Essex based airport are advised to check with airlines before departure.
Just hours after celebrating its busiest April ever, London Heathrow Airport has been savagely attacked by MPs. Following snow chaos, which closed the airport for four days over Christmas 2010, the Transport Select Committee branded the BAA operated property “totally unprepared” for a major incident and called for major reform.
Heathrow Airport is looking at using geothermal heating to combat its runways from freezing in winter. The British Airports Authority said the underground heating technology could prevent a repeat of last December, when the airport had to be closed for five days and 4,000 flights cancelled due to ice on the runways.
New figures from the UK Civil Aviation Authority have revealed some 32 per cent of scheduled flights were delayed in the final quarter of 2010. Airlines were quick to point to appalling weather and resultant airport closures – notably at Heathrow during the festive season – but the CAA argues not all delays can be attributed to this cause.
The US Eastern Seaboard is getting back on its feet after severe blizzards forced the cancellation of thousands of flights and left many homes without power. Flights have now resumed into and out of New York, Boston and Philadelphia. But many passengers were expected to be stranded until the end of the week after some 7,000 flights were cancelled over the peak post-Christmas travel period.
Transport Secretary Philip Hammond wants the air regulators to have new powers to impose heavy fines after Heathrow was closed during the big freeze last week, ruining the holidays of tens of thousands of people. The government also concluded that poor preparation and chronic under-investment led to the closure of Europe’s largest airport.