Despite the airport spin, snow causes problems

teletext_20120131.JPGAnother few inches of snow causes many flights to be delayed. Apparently, however, this is unknown to the airport spokesman, who claims that flights are mostly on-time.

We had this same situation late last year, when a small snowfall on a Monday and Tuesday morning caused many delays to outgoing morning flights: ones for which the aircraft was already here. Today, Tuesday 31 January, we again have a few inches of snow and again many morning departure delays.

Apparently, however, it seems that the airport spokesman Bertrand Stämpfli is blissfully unaware of these problems. On the TV teletext he claims that the snow has hardly perturbed the operation of the airport. The periodic clearing of the airport runway every 3 hours, starting at 7am, has merely caused delays of less than 30 minutes.

If you ignore this airport spin and actually look at the morning flight departures of aircraft scheduled to leave before 8am, you find that there were 20, all using aircraft already here. Of these 20, not a single one met the on-time criterion, which is to leave the terminal gate within 15 minutes of the scheduled time. In fact, the delays went from 16 minutes (easyJet EZS1401 to Barcelona) to 2 hours (Darwin F7154 to Rome). Just over half (11 out of the 20) were more than an hour late.

Apart from the obvious fact that the airport puts out highly misleading information, as well as not bothering to put out an overall snow information bulletin, my conclusion is that there is probably not a sufficient capacity for preparing the aircraft to go out on-time. In other words, not enough people and equipment to sweep snow off the aircraft wings and de-ice them. The airport has been known to put this responsibility onto the airlines concerned, which is (to me) just a CYA (Cover Your A***) attitude.

Having twice already blogged about this last year (HERE and HERE), already last night I fully expected this repeat.

Jamais deux sans trois!

18:10 Posted in Special days and notable incidents | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: geneva, airport, spin, snow, delays | |  del.icio.us | | Digg! Digg |  Facebook

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