Snow chaos 'to cost airport firm £40m'

AIRPORT operator BAA is expecting lose at least £40m in lost trading as a result of the disruption at Heathrow airport earlier this month after heavy snowfall, according to reports.

The reports, which cited sources familiar with the matter, said BAA and its investors are expecting a similar impact to the 40m lost earlier this year when a cloud of volcanic ash closed much of Europe's airspace.

Yesterday BAA said it has yet to make an official estimate of the financial impact caused by the problems at Heathrow. The heavy snowfall led to the closure of runways and chaos as passengers sought information on cancelled flights.

Transport Secretary Philip Hammond wants the air regulators to have new powers after Heathrow ground to a halt.

A spokesman for BAA said: "We will of course play a full part in the Government's discussions about this year's weather disruption."