Closure of Stansted Airport's runway causes travel misery for passengers

Flights are still delayed at Stansted Airport in Essex because of this morning's runway closure due to snow.

Twenty-three departures and 20 arrivals had been cancelled while airport staff worked to clear the snow.

Although the runway is now open, work is still going on to clear the taxiway and passengers are being advised to check with their airline before they travel. Road conditions near the airport are treacherous so journeys are taking longer than usual.

Mark Davison a spokesman from the airport said the changing conditions mean it is hard to deal with snowfall. He said, unlike airports in colder countries, Stansted does not have equipment like heated runways to deal with snow.

Clearing the runway at Stansted Airport Credit: PA wire

Passengers stranded after snow forced Stansted Airport to close its runway for two hours have spoken of their frustration.

The Essex airport had to close at 6.20am on Wednesday, just as the day's first flights were due to operate.

Long queues formed throughout the morning as travellers hoped to find alternative flights.

Among them were Steven Ingram, 56, and Stephen Allen, 49, both from Watford, who were due to fly to Spain to watch Barcelona's match against Benfica.

Spurs fan Mr Ingram said: "We left home at 3am for a 6.35am flight. We were on board and ready to go and then were told we'd have to get off again. The crazy thing was, we had to come back through passport control even though we hadn't gone anywhere.

"We've been queuing for several hours and we're still hoping we will get to Barcelona for the match tonight. With the travel to the airport, #65 match tickets and all the other costs involved, this could set us back quite a lot of money."

Mark Davison, head of communications for Stansted, said 23 outgoing and 20 incoming flights were cancelled. Most of these were Ryanair which operates the majority of flights from the airport.

He said: "We had early snow followed by falling temperatures and then more snow, which settled on ice, compounding the problem. It was certainly worse than had been forecast.

"We had the runway open again within two hours which, under the circumstances, we are satisfied with. A total area of 500,000 square metres needed to be cleared."

Clearing the runway at Stansted Airport Credit: PA wire