ACA Woking News by Bill Bawden, PRO

19 October 2010

Keeping Heathrow Running

Richard Smith
Richard Smith

At their October meeting, members of the AirCrew Association meeting at Fairoaks Airport were given an instructive insight into the behind-the-scenes activities at Heathrow Airport in the course of an illustrated talk by Richard Smith.

Richard described his work during his time as a BAA Duty Operations Officer and how he and his staff ensured the airport was able to operate at maximum capacity for eighteen hours every day.  In each daily period 1350 aircraft, carrying a total of 185,000 passengers, arrive or depart from the two runways and, with 75 movements every hour, there is now no capacity to increase the traffic flow or to absorb delays caused by any problem.

When circumstances, from bad weather, over-running maintenance works, accidents or any other reason affect aircraft movements, contingency and ad hoc plans have to be implemented immediately to return the airport to normal operation.  Richard described  and showed how this was done and also illustrated the past and current works to improve amenities together with the future plans to keep Heathrow in the forefront of airport development

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