Heathrow given ‘please explain’ deadline by Whitehall

By Josh White

Heathrow Airport’s ability to properly handle its current chaos was issued a fresh challenge on Friday, after ministers and top civil servants demanded it produce a plan to resolve its acute staffing shortage.
Chief executive officer John Holland-Kaye was given a deadline of midday to show the airport had enough people to run security screening, and to assist disabled passengers, in a letter from both the Department for Transport and the Civil Aviation Authority, cited by the Telegraph.

Holland-Kaye was also told to present a “credible and resilient” six-month plan showing how the airport will recover to full capacity.

“Heathrow and the airlines that use your airport must be assured, and be able to assure us, that you have in place a plan that can deliver a positive passenger experience through allowing as many people as possible to travel, without too much disruption and queues, and in particular to avoid significant numbers of short-notice and on-the-day cancellations,” wrote CAA chief executive Richard Moriarty and DfT interim director-general of aviation, maritime and security Rannia Leontaridi.

“The Government and the CAA are concerned that current resourcing plans are not delivering this outcome.”

The challenge from Whitehall came after Heathrow announced a cap of 100,000 passengers per day on Tuesday – less than half of its pre-pandemic average.

That was met with anger from airlines, with Emirates calling its “entirely unreasonable and unacceptable”, and refusing to comply.

Reporting by Josh White at Sharecast.com.

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