Flights disrupted as airport shuts for runway clearing

SNOW disruption at the airport yesterday could not have been avoided, according to its deputy director.

Nigel Guille clearing snow from the pedestrian crossing at the airport yesterday. (Picture by Steve Sarre, 1296065)
Nigel Guille clearing snow from the pedestrian crossing at the airport yesterday. (Picture by Steve Sarre, 1296065)

SNOW disruption at the airport yesterday could not have been avoided, according to its deputy director.

Ashley Nicholas said any suggestion that Guernsey Airport closed before anywhere else when it snowed was people’s perception.

‘We do exactly the same as in the UK and we are governed by the same regulations,’ he said.

‘Our snow plan is reviewed annually, we assess any lessons that might have been learned from previous incidents and we take on board any updates from UK best practice.’

The airport reopened at 2pm.

But the first flight out, the Aurigny flight to East Midlands at 2.30pm, had to turn around mid-flight and come back to Guernsey after the destination airport suddenly closed because of the weather.

Comments for: "Flights disrupted as airport shuts for runway clearing"


That white stuff creates problems

Not just here but many airports UK

So thanks to all who worked to keep us open


It must have taken a while to clear the runway with that shovel.


Internationational convention is to express snowfall in centimetres, not millimetres. We know it is impractical to maintain specialist snow clearance equipment so stop "bigging it up". 10mm = 1cm - not much more than a dusting!


Sorry but how do you think the Artic Airports still run, a flutter of snow and everything stops, ooooooh please, get your act in order, okay there would have been delays etc., from UK but this is ridiculous, does anyone at the Airport actually look at the weather forecast.


Any excuse for a moan, you are the one being ridiculous - it was snowing heavily until nearly 9am, that means about five hours to clear the runway, taxiways and apron area.

The runway itself is almost a mile long and 45 metres wide, served by a 25 metre wide taxiway the same length and an apron area the size of 4 or five football pitches all of which had to be manually snow ploughed, brushed and checked, just how quick do you think it is possible to do this?

Airports that spend half the year under snow are considerably better equipped to deal with it than we are, given that we get snow maybe for a couple of days once every few years is it really worth spending a massive amount of taxpayers money buying lots of very expensive specialist equipment that will very rarely be used?

Just about every other destination that Guernsey airlines serve were closed, in most cases for a lot longer than us.

Fog is a much more regular occurrence that regularly prevents flying, sometimes for two or three days at a time and there is absolutely nothing that the Airport can do to prevent it yet most people just accept it - maybe you should try and join them.

Of course, if you would like a phone call at 3 in the morning to come and help shovel and sweep I'm sure it could be arranged.



Very true. There was nowhere to fly to even if our airport had been open!



In those regions they have under-runway heating.


You will find the snow in the Arctic is of a different variety plus they are equipped for such events so stop being silly and joining the yearly band of whingers.

Charly G

Oh dear,here we go again,a silly miniscule dusting of snow falls ,and once again as with every winter,the British isles becomes the laughing stock of Europe,why?.Well for those of You like me Who are lucky in being able to travel,You would of noticed that the rest of Europe is not shackled by the plague of that black death called Health and Safety! which strikes fear into the

British isles ,to what we have now,the most pansy Society imaginable unable

To accept responsibility for its own actions,but blame everyone Else ! And that

Is why the British isles falls apart and shuts down for the pathetic quantities of

Of snow that dares to fall upon the country that once ruled the Waves and held its head high with strength.

Back in the siixties and Even the seventies,we went to school ,we went to work, planes took off and landed ,busses ran, trains ran and if you slipped over in the snow and ice and hurt yourself You put up with it ! No one thought about

Blaming or sueing or threats to Get lawers involved with actions which were of our own making,no one Else.

In my work,i am lucky to spend sometime of the year in Scandinavia and Much of that time is in the harsh winter months,and i mean harsh,and believe me When i say life does not stop up in that wonderfull Part of europe,with conditions that many Brits Could not Even imagine,and yes the airports stay open,Even in total blizzard White out conditions.

Lastly,before anyone starts bleeting on about other countries having the machinery and clothing to deal with real winter,these countries have Nothing that Britain can not Get if it realy wanted,yes it costs ,but the cost is Nothing in

Comparison to the cost to British echonomy ,Even if the equipement is hardly used,so Get a grip Britain.


But why do the airport authorities insist on clearing the runway and taxiways to enable a "black top' operation when all modern aircraft are certified to operate in and out of snow covered airfields ?

Most UK airfields are utterly useless at snow clearance but Guernsey comes top of the list when they drag out a 30 year old Bob Froome tractor and a few shovels !!


I don't know the answer to your question but Guernsey is no different to all the other UK airports who also will not operate on snow covered runways.........

Just out of interest,where have you seen commercial aircraft operating on snow and ice contaminated runways?


Many places around the world including UK,USA,Canada,Scandinavia etc etc.

I've done it myself many times !!!


So why has just about every airport in the UK been subject to closures for snow clearance,in most cases for a very small amount during the last three or four days?

And why do the Scandanavian (and probably USA/Canada) airports have heated runways and spend millions on specialist snow clearing equipment if the aircraft are certified and able to operate on snow?

What is the acceptable limits for operation?


Airports in Canada, Alaska etc are used to snow as are the pilots etc that land there!! Not quite the same as Guernsey


No newspapers again! The poor newsagents must be pulling their hair out! I'd put money on the fact that places like the Orkney's and Shetland Islands got theirs and there must be six foot of snow up there! Why can't we or our suppliers cope with a couple of centimetres!


Dear oh dear oh dear oh don't you just love the comments - talk about getting my daily dose of good-health belly laughs....this sites the best thing since aspirin....keep them coming guys....please, keep them coming......


...........and people like Caroline would be the first to complain if they were on an aircraft coming into land on a snow covered runway and then slipping / crashing off it. "They shouldn't have allowed the airport to remain open......." would be the cry. It's a no win situation for airports to be honest !