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Over 50 airliners fail to land at Moscow airports over heavy snowfall

February 05, 2013, 17:07 UTC+3

155 flights were delayed for three and more hours

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MOSCOW, February 5 (Itar-Tass) – As many as 56 airliners failed to land at the Moscow airports and flied to the backup airfields over a heavy snowfall, which hit Moscow on Monday, the Federal Air Transport Agency (Rosaviatsiya) told Itar-Tass on Tuesday.

“For the past day 56 airliners flied to the backup airfields, 155 flights were delayed for three and more hours,” a source in the Federal Air Transport Agency said, noting “1,460 flights were served at the airports of the Moscow air traffic zone for the past day.”

The agency noted a well-orchestrated work of the staffs at the Moscow airports and the flight controllers in extremely bad weather conditions. “The flight controllers from the Moscow centre for the computerized control over the air traffic in hard weather conditions ensured the qualitative control over the air traffic, minimizing the risks of the aircraft in the holding zones,” the source said.

The delays “caused a slight crowding of passengers at the airports,” he said. “The delays were caused only by hard weather conditions, the decision of the commanders of the airliners to fly to the backup airfields and the factors related with this fact: the return of the airliners from the backup airfields, needed leisure time for the crews at the backup airfields, as well as hard traffic conditions, as result of which the crews of the airliners and the passengers failed to get to the airports timely,” the Rosaviatsiya source said.

“At all air harbours emergency headquarters were formed, the measures to clear the runways, platforms, parking stands from the snow were taken and the aircraft were processed with anti-icing agents,” the Rosaviatsiya source. He noted the fact that “at the airports the passengers were getting the necessary information timely and were provided with proper services under the common rules of the air traffic of passengers, luggage, cargoes as well as the requirements to the services for the passengers, consignors and consignees.”

“The operation of the airports in the Moscow air traffic zone began to stabilize” by 03:00 Moscow time and from 04:00 Moscow time on Tuesday the airports operate in the usual mode.


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