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Home » UK Weather: All Flights Suspended At Stansted Airport

UK Weather: All Flights Suspended At Stansted Airport

Image source, @stopclimbFL200

Image caption, Planes at Stansted were seen blanketed in snow on Sunday night

By Daniel Thomas

Business reporter, BBC News

All flights have been suspended at Stansted Airport after it was forced to close its runway due to bad weather.

Heathrow and Gatwick have also cancelled or delayed flights after snow, ice and freezing fog swept the country.

A yellow weather warning remains place for Scotland, London and south-west England until Monday morning, threatening to cause more disruption.

Trains have also been delayed and there have been motorway accidents.

Stansted said on Sunday night its only runway was closed to allow for snow clearance due to weather conditions and all flights are currently suspended.

“Delays to flights were experienced earlier due to de-icing of aircraft which is a ground handler’s responsibility and safety of aircraft and passengers is paramount,” they added.

“Passengers are advised to check with their airline for current status of their flights.”

Image source, James Love

Image caption, The view from James Love’s plane

James Love told the BBC he was stuck on a Loganair plane at Stansted for several hours which has been unable to take off, first because the wing needed to be de-iced and then because the runway closed.

He said that passengers have been told there is still a chance they could get away but he feels it is unlikely.

“Snow is still coming down heavily and I don’t see how they’ll be able to clear it, de-ice us and taxi over in the short window we have,” he said, while praising the crew.

“The cabin crew gave us some biscuits water and shortbread, cant fault them at all.”

Heathrow and Gatwick affected

More than 50 flights have been at Heathrow so far on on Sunday, after freezing fog resulted in air traffic control restrictions on the number of aircraft that could land and depart per hour .

The airport said it had cancelled flights to keep passengers safe.

A spokeswoman said: “We want to reassure passengers that our colleagues are working in close collaboration with our airline and air traffic control partners to get them safely away on their journeys as quickly as possible.

“We encourage passengers to check their flight status with their airline for the latest information.”

Gatwick Airport temporarily closed one of its runways at 17:55 GMT due to un-forecast snow.

The airport’s snow clearing teams were in place and reopened the runway again at 20:00 when conditions were safer.

As a result a number of flights have been delayed or cancelled, while 28 others were also diverted to other airports during the closure.

“Every effort is being made to get these flights back to Gatwick tonight,” a spokesperson said.

“Freezing weather conditions are expected to continue this evening and may cause further disruption at the airport.

“Passengers travelling this evening and tomorrow are advised to check their flight status with the airline – and also local travel conditions – before departing for the airport.”

On Saturday, Manchester Airport closed both runways due to “heavy snow fall”, with dozens of flights affected.

Some passengers complained on Sunday about a lack of information from airlines on the cancellations.

Others said they had been unable to get off planes due to the icy conditions.

Picked a bad weekend to go to Northern Ireland: 5 hr delay on Friday night because of a lack of de-icing capacity and return flight to Gatwick has just landed (late!) in Luton because of snow. Stuck on plane waiting to hear options – get off or fly to Gatwick… :-/

— Stephen Curry (@Stephen_Curry) December 11, 2022 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

Stansted and Gatwick were unable to say whether flights on Monday morning would be cancelled but added that tonight’s snow was expected to stop at midnight.

Road and rail disruption

Heavy snowfall caused a series of traffic collisions on Sunday, as many drivers were faced with treacherous conditions.

In Shropshire, the M54 between junctions 3 and 2 was shut, while major congestion was also reported on the M5 slip road to the M6.

The southbound M5 in Gloucestershire was shut after a multi-vehicle crash between junctions 11A and 12 near Quedgeley, Highways England said.

Drivers in north-west England were also being advised to take care following accidents on other motorways including the M58, M62, M61.

Trains across the West Midlands have also been hit by delays.

The UK’s Met Office has said its severe weather warning will be in place until 09:00 on Monday morning, warning of possible travel delays on roads, along with delayed or cancelled rail and air travel.

Temperatures could drop as low as -15C (5F) in northeast Scotland overnight.

But the Met Office ended its weather warning for Northern Ireland, despite the cold weather leading to some sporting fixtures being cancelled.

It warned of the risks posed around open water following the rescue of four children now in critical condition after falling through ice on a lake near Birmingham.

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