By Emma Knights
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
While most of us have been battling with the treacherous road conditions caused by the wintry weather over the past few days, for those with further to travel it was snow on the runway causing the problems.
Many passengers at Norwich International Airport faced delays to their flights yesterday morning because the snowy conditions meant the airfield was not able to open until about 10.30am.
Aberdeen. Amsterdam, Manchester and Edinburgh flights were affected, and a flight from Aberdeen had to be diverted to Stansted Airport.
Among the passengers waiting for flights was Sonny Ngantu, 45, from King’s Lynn, who had braved the county’s roads early in the morning to get to the airport at 6am to catch the 6.40am flight to Aberdeen where he works as a management consultant for BP,
“I left home at 5am because I knew what the road conditions would be like. It was horrendous (on the roads).
“I got here before 6am but now I am on the 2pm flight,” Mr Ngantu said.
“It is really frustrating but I must say it was not entirely unexpected. It was just one of those things. You just accept it – there’s nothing you can do about it.”
The evening saw two more flights cancelled. KL1515 from Amsterdam, due to land at 9.10pm last night was grounded due to weather conditions in Amsterdam, while the BE6878, due to arrive in Norwich from Manchester at 8.45pm was cancelled because of a technical problem.
The KL1502 today, due to leave Norwich for Amsterdam at 6.30am has also been cancelled because of the bad weather in the Netherlands.
Thirty-one-year-old Dan Smith, who is an offshore worker, had a long wait to get home, having been due to fly home to Aberdeen on Sunday.
“I was on the 5pm flight to Aberdeen. We were actually on the plane and they were de-icing the aircraft but then the airfield was shut,” he said.
“I was not too bothered – you cannot beat the weather, you just have to get on with it.”
He spent the night at the Holiday Inn before returning to the airport terminal at 5.30am yesterday for a 6.40am flight – but this flight was delayed because of the weather and then cancelled because of a technical fault with the aircraft. He boarded the 2pm flight.
“You have just got to laugh haven’t you? There is nothing you can do about it,” he said.
Ray and Brenda Edworthy, from Swaffham, decided to travel to the airport extra early for their flight to Tenerife yesterday.
The couple left home at 10.30am and managed to get to the airport by midday, in good time for their flight which was due to go at 5.25pm last night.
The couple said they were looking forward to escaping the cold weather that has gripped the county.
For Paul Scupham, 51, from Lowestoft, the delay on his flight to Aberdeen was actually a good thing.
Mr Scupham had been due to travel to Aberdeen for work, but the delay to his flight meant he was still in Norwich when he got a call saying his 20-year-old son Alexander had been taken to the James Paget University Hospital in Gorleston.
“If the flight had not been delayed then I would not have been able to go the hospital,” Mr Scupham said.
Gary Blake, airport customer services manager, said the closure of the runway was because the airport staff needed to clear compacted snow from the runway and complete two rounds of de-icing.
“The airfield runway was reopened by about 10.30am although there continued to be delays to flights for some time.
The 6.40am T3722 flight yesterday to Aberdeen was cancelled due to a technical fault with the aircraft and the 6.20am Amsterdam flight KL1502 was cancelled due to adverse weather conditions in Amsterdam.
Flight BM1310 from Aberdeen was diverted to Stansted Airport.