28 OCTOBER 2013
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To its credit Heathrow has issued a bad weather warning in advance of the storms expected to hit Southern England this morning. Some of it is stating the obvious, suggesting that you check your airline’s website before stepping out. It points out that cross-runway winds of more than 30 miles per hour (25 knots) in wet conditions result in safety restrictions on the types of aircraft that are permitted to land or take off. The two Heathrow runways are parallel and are set for the prevailing winds, that is east to west.
A Met Office amber alert for high winds in southern Wales, southern England, much of the Midlands, the East, and London and the South East is in place.
There is concern about possible heavy rain, falling trees, building damage and gusts of up to 80 mph (120 kph), or possibly higher on exposed coasts.
The Met Office said the predicted storm was not one "you would see every year".
Sadly the only people rubbing their hands will be the lawyers. If a flight eventually lands more than three hours late passengers might be able to claim compensation following a European Court of Justice 2012 judgement. The ‘no win no fee’ boys will be at it no doubt with automated phone calls as well.
The airlines have been ‘battening down the hatches’, using shipping terminology, over the last 24 hours. As with the volcano issues three years ago not only will they have to deal with the problems of nature but also expensively playing defence against the legal despots. If a carrier has been poor in dealing with a delay BTN has no sympathy. But, as is possible if the weather predictions are correct, we all suffer from the onset of winter, common sense must prevail. Fattening up the legal profession will only increase air fares.
Please also see the advice from the CAA
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