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BAA launches inquiry into Heathrow snow chaos

BAA chief executive Colin Matthews yesteray revealed plans to appoint an external international panel of experts to lead an inquiry into the planning, execution and recovery from the snow chaos that caused major disruption to flights at Heathrow this week.

Matthews has asked independent non-executive director Professor David Begg, who joined the BAA Board earlier this month, to lead the external enquiry, which will report back in March 2011.

Matthews also made an additional £10M available to the airside operations team at Heathrow yesterday, to bolster winter resilience and the first of the new vehicles are arriving today.

The enquiry will be supported by Dr David Quarmby, who has recently completed the Government-commissioned review on UK winter resilience

“The enquiry will forensically examine what went wrong at Heathrow, and look fundamentally at our ability to prepare and respond more effectively to periods of bad weather at an airport operating at its maximum capacity,” said Matthews.

“The enquiry will have complete freedom to examine the sequence of events, and to deliver recommendations for BAA to implement.”

The members of the enquiry include:

  • David Begg, non-executive director of BAA and Chairman, British Chambers of Commerce Infrastructure Commission
  • Murray Sigler, former President of Canadian Airlines International and former CEO of Winnipeg Airport
  • Jim Cherry, CEO of Montreal Airport
  • Ben Decosta, former CEO of Atlanta and Newark Liberty Airports
  • Josef Felder, former CEO of Zurich Airport

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