The government and the BAA together have given air travellers a dreadful year, and they are still at it over the Christmas period.

Over the last two days fog at Heathrow has created scenes reminiscent of the badly managed security measures in the summer. There are some simple steps which the government and the BAA ought to take to help people in such a situation.


1. Tell people in overseas airports flying to London that they may not be able to get a connection out of London, allowing them to re-route.

2. Work with the airlilnes to agree a schedule of flights that can take off that day, and?? cancel the others early, notifying all passengers. At least BA had the sense to cancel all its domestic flights and tell everyone that was happening, to give it more chance of meeting passenger demands for long haul.

3.BAA to work with other airports to try and divert more Heathrow planes to the nearest open airports with capacity, laying on surface transport.

It has also highlighted the continuing cost of not providing enough transport capacity of all kinds. The railways were telling people they did not have the capacity for people to rebook at popular times to go?? by train instead of domestic flights. The roads were congested, and the runway and terminal capacity once again woefully inadequate. It has served to highlight the complete failure to build any new main transport facilities in the last ten years, save completing the Channel rail link and the M6 tollway in Brimingham,?? projects initiated under the previous government.


It is important the Competition authorities take action to deal with the way the BAA monopoly is run. How many more times have people got to sit around for hours in tents outside the terminal building proper and sleep on floors and hard seats in our leading airport before something is done to sort the problems out?

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One Comment

  1. Posted December 22, 2006 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    Build more runways. Heathrow cannot expect to remain a hub airport with 2 runways when Paris, Frankfurt & Amsterdam have 3-5. With the rate air transport is growing this chaos will happen increasingly if their isn’tspare capacity.

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, He graduated from Magdalen College Oxford, has a DPhil and is a fellow of All Souls College. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.

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