Heathrow press releases

23 December, 2010

BAA launches winter resilience enquiry

BAA chief executive Colin Matthews today announces the appointment of an external international panel of experts to establish the lessons which can be learned from recent events at Heathrow.

Mr Matthews has asked independent non-executive director Professor David Begg, who joined the BAA Board earlier this month, to lead an external enquiry.

The panel members are drawn from airports and airlines around the world and will have a far-reaching brief to look at the planning, execution and recovery from the difficult weather conditions of last weekend and will publish their report in March 2011.

In the meantime, Colin Matthews has today made an additional £10 million available to the airside operations team at Heathrow, in order to bolster winter resilience and the first of the new vehicles are arriving today.

The members of the enquiry will 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

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

Sir Nigel Rudd, Chairman of BAA, said: “This enquiry is a powerful statement of BAA’s intention to respond quickly to recent events, and I am pleased that Colin and his team have taken swift action to begin an exhaustive enquiry.  The Board will ensure that the full resources of the company are available to the enquiry in the coming months.”

Colin Matthews, Chief Executive Officer of BAA, said: “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.

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

Professor David Begg said: “I look forward to bringing together this experienced group of transport industry professionals to explore how well Heathrow airport was prepared for this most recent period of bad weather, how it responded and to make a series of recommendations to Colin Matthews and his team.  In doing so, the panel will talk to airport managers, airlines and passenger representatives to provide a balanced perspective of what happened at Heathrow.”

For further information please contact: -

BAA - Malcolm Robertson Tel. 020 8745 7224

Finsbury - Andrew Dowler Tel. 020 7251 3801


Contacts

Heathrow Airport media centre
Heathrow Airport
Email: media_centre@heathrow.com
Telephone: +44 (0)20 8745 7224