mannerisms

Ruminations on the electronics industry from David Manners, Senior Components Editor on Electronics Weekly.

Get A Plan To Keep The Airports Working

At least the Scottish Transport Minister had the good grace to resign; the English Transport Minister is as wet as a scrubber.

Some ten days after the snow hit, the Minisister did offer the Army to help.

In New York, JFK was open 24 hours after the snow hit.

Gatwick had 4 inches of snow, JFK had 20 inches.

Out of work people could have been offered £100 a day to clear the runways.

Farmers – who often have snowploughs and always have tractors – could have been offered £500 a day to clear the runways.

The English government is responsible because it allowed the English airports to be sold to a massively indebted Spanish company who can’t, or won’t, spend the money to get the airports capable of operating through bad weather.

So setting the scene for a debacle broadcast worldwide to England’s humiliation.

Cameron must sack the no-can-do Transport Minister.

This Spanish firm must be told to produce a plan to keep the airports opening through bad weather, or see them compulsorily purchased and re-nationalised.

Hope you got to wherever you wanted to get to without any trouble.

Tags: cameron, farmers, good grace, open 24 hours, tractors

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7 Comments

  1. January 13, 2011 11:18

    Shortly after the snow farce there was a letter in The Times from a retired high ranking RAF chap who had worked at one of our strategic nuclear defence stations. He stated that on no account could the defence of the country be put at risk because of a heavy snow fall. The solution was to position the jets aimed at the runways and start them up – this very quickly cleared any amount of snow thus keeping the base operational.
    If you looked at some of the stranded aircraft at our airports during the snow many of them had clear areas behind them where clearly engines had been started before hand.

  2. David Manners
    January 11, 2011 13:14

    Not if they’re properly vetted, Matthew

  3. Matthew Taylor
    January 11, 2011 13:10

    Doesn’t letting a load of people (unemployed, farmers, whoever) wander about airside in airport not strike you as a bijou security risk?

  4. David Manners
    December 30, 2010 10:18

    Well Yes, Mike, I was thinking more in terms of Gatwick when it came to the proximiry of tractors. As to all those petty regulations, I would have thought a transport minister would have the powers to suspend all them for the duration of a crisis. I’m sure healso has the power to deploy whatever resources are necessary to get the airport working. He did nothing but bleat. As to getting Gatwick out of Spanish ownership that just shows what can be done when the government gets tough. It needs to get tougher. Those airport passengers were treated disgracefully.

  5. David Manners
    December 30, 2010 10:07

    You cynical old sausage, Selwood, no I didn’t, actually, I spent Christmas in Somerset requiring only 4 wheels and the A303 to get to, but watching the debacle on the telly.

  6. Mike Bryant
    December 30, 2010 09:58

    Until this year you had to do a health and safety course, not use red diesel and have £5m of insurance to do snow ploughing with a tractor. So at least the transport minister did change some rules to help out and the roads where I live are now kept clearish.
    However I wonder how many tractors are within a sensible distance from Heathrow. It’s not an area renowned for farming.
    It’s really the responsibility of the airports to have plans in place and the government should allow the airlines and passangers to claim against them for these avoidable delays. Note however that Gatwick isn’t Spanish-owned.

  7. Dick Selwood
    December 30, 2010 09:11

    Miss a flight, David?