A regional airport in Britain has closed for emergency work on its runway after a string of airlines refused to land planes there for fear of skidding in wet weather. Almost 400 flights at Bristol International were cancelled over the weekend. Airport manager, Andrew Skipp, hopes to get back to normal later today. “We’re very hopeful that by the early morning the contractors will have completed grooving the parts of the runway,” he said. “That will then allow our team to go on and inspect the runway and then hopefully by lunchtime we will have the planes starting to return to Bristol with normal service resumed over the afternoon.”
Thousands of passengers have had their travel plans disrupted and many are unhappy with the way Skipp and his team have handled the situation. “The director is strolling around in his fine suit giving interviews to camera crews, and we have no announcement from him, only from the airlines who are actually trying to cope with the problem,” said one passenger. Some 5.6 million passengers passed through Bristol International last year. Over the weekend many found themselves loaded on to coaches and driven to neighbouring airports such as Cardiff.