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Heathrow cancels hundreds of flights

Sana Ahmed, News writer
February 6, 2012 — Bad weather forces London's Heathrow Airport to cancel more than 300 flights.

Snow and frigid temperatures hamper flights
Snow and frigid temperatures hamper flights

Thanks to heavy snow and frigid temperatures, Europe's busiest airport faced massive disruptions to its usually punctual flight schedule on Sunday.

Heathrow Airport cancelled around half of its 1,300 scheduled flights that were due to either land or depart on its premises.

"Lessons have clearly been learned from history," says Colin Matthews, CEO of British Airports Authority. "The airport is open, the runways are clear of the snow, the taxi ways are clear, the stands are clear, the airport is operating. And it will take us time to get the schedule back on track, because in weather conditions like today we cannot make aircraft arrive and depart at the same rate as on a normal day."

The flight mayhem has been caused by high amounts of snow that fell over Britain in a short period of time. In a matter of 24 hours, at least 15 cm fell over the country, with temperatures dropping to minus 10 degrees Celsius.

European weather forecasters are predicting colder temperatures could extend well into next week and The Weather Network's meteorologist, Dayna Vettese agrees.

"This cold snap looks like it could last for at least another week across Europe," says Vettese.

Vettese goes on to explain, "the jet stream has plunged south allowing for the cold air to reach lower latitudes. As well, high pressure is drawing in cold air from the north meeting up with moisture in the south."

The freezing temperatures and heavy snow have also been blamed for traffic chaos on Britain's roads.

Ice conditions sent vehicles into ditches or forced drivers to abandon their cars.

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