29-Dec-2010 8:47 AM

European airports report improving operations as snow clears

Europe's airports reported the following operations as severe weather conditions eased over Christmas (Reuters/JOE.ie/flandersnews.be, 24-Dec-2010/Associated Press/CNN/RNW,/KUNA, 25-Dec-2010/Reuters, 26-Dec-2010/B92, 28-Dec-2010):

  • UK/Ireland:
    • Dublin Airport: returned to normal operations on 24-Dec-2010, although some flights were cancelled for the day;
    • London Gatwick: stated operations remained as normal, but warned of some delays and cancellations due to conditions at other airports;
    • London Heathrow: stated there were only a handful of flight cancellations on 25-Dec-2010, due to weather conditions at other airports;
  • Continental Europe:
    • Brussels Airport: resumed operations at 16:00 on 24-Dec-2010. Fifty passengers were stranded at the airport overnight. The airport expanded operations on 25-Dec-2010, with two of three runways open;
    • Frankfurt Airport: reported some cancellations on 25-Dec-2010, but weather conditions have since improved. Lufthansa and Lufthansa Cargo announced (27-Dec-2010) they have returned to mostly normal flight operations; [more]
    • Maastricht Aachen Airport: reopened on 25-Dec-2010, after closing on 24-Dec-2010 due to heavy snow;
    • Oslo Gardermoen Airport: stated (28-Dec-2010) it has closed twice due to snow since opening in 1998. Most recently in 2009 it closed due to snow conditions, and then only for six hours. In recent years a total of EUR5.8-6.4 million (NOK45-50 million) has been spent on developing winter operations expertise in the Avinor group; [more]
    • Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport: flight schedules returned to normal on 25-Dec-2010, following the delivery of emergency supplies of de-icing fluid.French authorities had requested airlines cancel half of their morning flights for 24-Dec-2010 due to the issue, resulting in the cancellation of 400 flights. Flight delays were expected to expand as the day progressed;
      • Air France CEO criticised the de-icing fluid supply issue at CDG, stating it was “not acceptable”, adding the airline had not been informed of the issue. Environment Minister Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet stated the French Government would investigate the incident. Aeroports de Paris CEO Pierre Graff stated he felt responsible for the incident;
      • The airport was also forced to evacuate passengers from Terminal 2E on 24-Dec-2010, due to the heavy weight of snow on the roof of the terminal over concerns it would collapse;
    • Paris Orly Airport: operated as normal, as it had a sufficient supply of de-icing fluid;
    • Zurich Airport: reported some cancellations on 25-Dec-2010;
  • Eastern Europe:
    • Belgrade Nikola Tesla International Airport: reported some flight delays on 28-Dec-2010 due to snow conditions in Serbia.