Sunday, December 19, 2010

Chaos at Heathrow

Due to "heavy" snow -- about 7 inches, as far as I can tell -- and freezing conditions (15 degrees F tonight) -- the situation at Heathrow airport is chaotic at best. Some poor folks will be spending their their second or even third night at the terminal, with flights having been cancelled since Friday on. No flights left Saturday, and very few today.

What a mess.

Perhaps the chaps who run Heathrow should take a visit to Logan or even better O'Hare. Six to seven inches of snow will not shut them for two days! But, there is the question of optimal investment in snow plows. If these events are rare at Heathrow, they should have less capability. Offsetting this, however, is the very large cost imposed in those rare circumstances. The concept of insurance comes to mind.

And the rarity of the circumstances seems to be changing! Last December Heathrow got belted with snow as well. Some government official was quoted as saying they were consulting with their chief science officer. I would love to hear that discussion.

It does make one wonder how well the climate models do in regard to regional effects.

1 comment:

Christian said...

Helsinki closed its airport the last time almost 10 years ago - for 30 minutes!

It is not surprising thought that airports like Heathrow or Frankfurt do not invest in slow plows. They do not bare the costs of the chaos. It's the airlines problem! Maybe time to look at the good old incentive structure!