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Ice-bound Heathrow gets rare OK to ditch its curfew

Britain said yesterday it was relaxing night flying restrictions at London’s Heathrow airport for the next four days to help it clear a backlog of flights hit by severe icy and snowy weather.

Britain said yesterday it was relaxing night flying restrictions at London’s Heathrow airport for the next four days to help it clear a backlog of flights hit by severe icy and snowy weather.

Transport Secretary Philip Hammond said operating hours at the airport would be extended until 1 a.m. local time, and arrivals for repatriation flights would be allowed throughout the night.

The airport, operated by Spanish-owned BAA, told passengers not to show up at its Terminals 1 and 3 because of overcrowding yesterday.

“The immediate focus at Heathrow must be maximizing the number of flights with the available infrastructure,” Hammond said. “In order to do this, I have agreed with BAA this morning [on] the relaxation of restrictions on night flights for the next four days.”

British Airways, the largest operator out of Heathrow, said the airport would only be using one of its two runways today, meaning the airport would have to continue operating at significantly reduced capacity.

 
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