Scores of flights to and from Dublin Airport have been delayed today due to adverse weather conditions and complications with de-icing planes.
De-icing aircrafts is carried out by airlines or by their contracted handling agent, and there have been reports of long wait times for de-icing to be carried out.
Aer Lingus flagged the potential for delays in a statement released yesterday evening.
“Due to adverse weather conditions and potential significant snow accumulations across the country, there may be potential flight delays due to aircraft de-icing. We encourage all customers to allow adequate time to arrive at the airport,” the airline said.
There were freezing conditions and snowfall at the airport overnight, but a spokesperson for Dublin Airport’s authority, daa, said “all runways and associated taxiways are clear of snow and fully open”.
“Dublin Airport's dedicated snow and ice teams remain on standby to ensure that Dublin Airport remains open and operational. They are also assisting airlines and their handling agents as they attempt to de-ice their aircraft. As always, passengers should check with their airline for the latest flight information regarding their specific flight,” the spokesperson said.
It comes as one passenger who was due to fly to London this morning, said he has been stuck on the runway for hours.
Paul O’Loughlin-Kennedy told the Today with Claire Byrne programme, just after 11am, that he had been on the plane since 7.30am.
“At about 7.40am, the pilot said to use we’re all ready to go, we’re just waiting for the plane to be de-iced. At this stage, we’re still waiting here in the apron at Dublin Airport,” he said.
Mr O’Loughlin-Kennedy did not say which airline he was flying with, however, he said the pilot told passengers that there are normally three de-icing machines in use at Dublin Airport, but currently only two are operational.
“The captain said that Dublin Airport has three de-icing units, but there’s only one of them working, that two of them are broken,” he said.
“We’ve been told about this big snow coming for about at least a month and you’d really have thought that they’d of got all the equipment operational by now.”
Mr O’Loughlin-Kennedy is travelling to London for the day to attend a dance festival and he has missed some meetings which were scheduled for this morning.
“The air crew have been super. Several people earlier said look, if this isn’t going to work, I need to get off. So, they got the steps back onto the plane and some people left. Then the captain said to us I’m hoping it will be 11 o’clock that we’ll get done, so if anybody wants to change their plans again, they can get off, but I understand that the flight crew have to redo all the paperwork,” he added.
Independent.ie contacted Ryanair for comment about the delays at Dublin Airport today.
A spokesperson for Aer Lingus said: “Aer Lingus plan to operate all flights as scheduled today, despite some weather related delays.”