Standstill Britain: Airports

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The Independent Online

Two of Scotland's biggest airports were expected to run out of aviation fuel by midnight yesterday. In an attempt to ensure that flights from regional airports continued, airlines using them were advised by the British Airports Authority to carry enough fuel for a round trip rather than filling up onarrival as usual.

Two of Scotland's biggest airports were expected to run out of aviation fuel by midnight yesterday. In an attempt to ensure that flights from regional airports continued, airlines using them were advised by the British Airports Authority to carry enough fuel for a round trip rather than filling up onarrival as usual.

Fuel supplies to the country's main hubs - Heathrow and Gatwick for London, Stansted in Essex, Birmingham and Manchester - are guaranteed by dedicated pipelines to each airport but the smaller airports rely on deliveries of fuel by road.

A BAA spokeswoman said yesterday: "Both Glasgow and Edinburgh had about 15 hours of fuel left at around 9am. Without further deliveries they are likely to be out of supplies by the end of the day."

Managers at East Midlands Airport in Leicestershire also asked airlines to refuel at main hubs after it failed to receive its daily delivery. Both Southampton and Aberdeen airports have enough fuel for 48 hours.

The shortage was predicted to cause difficulties for small operators based at some airports but the main airlines said they would keep flights going by ensuring aircraft had enough fuel for a return journey.

A spokesman for British Airways said: "We will operate by double fuelling our aircraft to ensure they do not have to refuel when they arrive at the regional airports. Operations will continue as normal."

Other airlines, including EasyJet and British Midland, said their aircraft would refuel both at the main airports and abroad.

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