Scottish airports buy in snow ploughs

by Ella FAIRCHILD on February 28, 2011

Airports in Scotland are splashing out on snow ploughs in an attempt to keep flying during harsh winter weather. Between them, both Edinburgh and Glasgow airports have bought in a total of 15 new sweepers, costing a massive £3 million. It is hoped that the sweepers, ice brushes and ploughs will help keep taxiways and runways clear if Britain suffers another white-out winter.

As well as the purchases at the inner-city hubs, Aberdeen Airport will spend £500,000 on snow clearing equipment while Highlands and Islands airports will get an additional three. While some Scottish airports managed to remain open during this winter’s harsh conditions, others were heavily criticised by politicians and the public for failing to keep runways moving.

Airports lost millions of pounds this winter due to increased expenditure on hotels for staff, de-icer and fuel, and decreased revenue from airport shopping, parking and airlines taxes. It is hoped that the snow clearing equipment would help cut such loses by at least half.

In Edinburgh alone, 100,000 of the airport’s usual customers (one-fifth) were left with their flights grounded in December 2010. The hub also shut its runways eight times in six weeks, making it Scotland’s worst affected airport.

Edinburgh has now created 15 new positions to help deal with another potential snow crisis and has ordered five ploughs costing £300,000 each. Glasgow also spent over a million pounds after airport bosses in Scandinavia invited managers from the UK to learn how to keep the country flying in snowy conditions.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post: Returning Brits describe chaos in Libya

Next post: Easter strike possible at Spanish airports