Air pas­sen­gers de­layed as fog grounds flights

>> NEWS: THE LAST JEDI HAS PASSED THROUGH TOWN Heathrow and Gatwick air­ports urged trav­ellers to check with air­lines af­ter dozens of can­cel­la­tions at start of week

Star Courier (Surrey & Hants) - - NEWS - By Unzela Khan

HEATHROW Air­port was forced to can­cel as many as 100 flights on Tues­day due to a sec­ond day of freez­ing fog across the South East.

Re­duced vis­i­bil­ity had given air­port bosses no choice but to can­cel around 100 out of some 1,300 flights, said a spokesman for the hub.

They ex­plained how the air­port’s nor­mal pat­tern of a plane tak­ing off or land­ing ev­ery 45 sec­onds was not pos­si­ble due to the fog that has per­sisted since the week­end. It comes af­ter air pas­sen­gers en­dured a mis­er­able start to the week when around 100 flights were also can­celled at Heathrow on Mon­day morn­ing.

This was com­pounded by dis­rup­tion at Gatwick Lon­don City, Stansted and Southamp­ton air­ports.

Bosses at Gatwick warned pas­sen­gers to ex­pect de­lays and po­ten­tial can­cel­la­tions, and to check with air­lines be- fore at­tempt­ing to travel.

The Met Of­fice warned on Mon­day evening that overnight fog could cause fresh dis­rup­tion to air travel. The ‘ se­vere’ weather warn­ing re­mained in place un­til 11am on Tues­day, with the freez­ing fog re- form­ing overnight and be­com­ing wide­spread across the South East.

A spokesman for Heathrow Air­port said on Tues­day: “Per­sis­tent freez­ing fog across the South East has re­duced vis­i­bil­ity at Heathrow again to­day.

“With Heathrow op­er­at­ing at more than 99% ca­pac­ity, there are no gaps in the sched­ule that can be used for de­layed flights and, as a re­sult, some pas­sen­gers may ex­pe­ri­ence dis­rup­tion.

“Pas­sen­gers should check their flight sta­tus with their air­line be­fore com­ing to the air­port. As al­ways, Heathrow’s top pri­or­ity is the safety of pas­sen­gers and we apol­o­gise to those whose travel has been af­fected by to­day’s weather.”

Mean­while, Gatwick took to Twit­ter on Mon­day to is­sue its own guid­ance to pas­sen­gers plan­ning use the air­port dur­ing cold snap.

“Air traf­fic con­trol re­stric­tions, im­posed due to heavy fog across the South East and Europe, are caus­ing de­lays to flights to and from Gatwick as well as some can­cel­la­tions.

“We ad­vise you to the to check the sta­tus of your flight with your air­line be­fore trav­el­ling to the air­port, if pos­si­ble. We’re do­ing all we can to keep pas­sen­gers mov­ing.”

Sur­rey Po­lice, mean­while, has urged mo­torists to take ex­tra care on the roads in the foggy con­di­tions, while the Met Of­fice has warned jour­neys were likely to take longer than usual be­cause of the ad­verse weather.

A spokesman for the Met Of­fice, added: “Icy stretches on roads and pave­ments will be an ad­di­tional haz­ard.

“Driv­ing con­di­tions will be dif­fi­cult with jour­neys likely to take longer than usual and de­lays to air travel are pos­si­ble.”

Pic­ture: Justin Tallis/ AFP/ Getty Im­ages.

Hun­dreds of flights were can­celled at Heathrow and Gatwick Air­ports on Mon­day and Tues­day due to the thick fog in the South East.

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