BAA and British Airways
17. When asked what he thought caused the problems
which hampered the opening, Colin Matthews told us that:
"however well the airport operator and the airline
operator, BA, are working it is also vital that the two are absolutely
integrated and together. I think that during the construction
of Terminal 5 that appeared to be the case. Around about or just
prior to the opening of T5 it seems that that togetherness deteriorated.
It is that togetherness that allows you to cope with the issues
that arise on the day."
He added that, if he had his time again, he "would
focus resolutely and determinedly on keeping British Airways and
BAA in the same room tightly together".
18. To this end, together with British Airways,
BAA has instituted
- a daily T5 operations meeting,
attended by the senior BA and BAA managers and their immediate
teams, to review the previous day's operating performance and
implement any necessary actions;
- a weekly BAA/BA joint meeting to review the performance
of the baggage operations at T5; and
- a weekly BAA/BA meeting to assess progress in
ensuring the remaining BA flights from Terminal 4 can be switched
to T5 according to the proposed timetable.
19. It is too late to know for sure whether taking
these measures sooner would have prevented some or all of the
problems that arose in March and April. Our suspicion is that
they would have, given the successful second batch of moves from
T4 to T5 on 5 June. It is therefore deeply regrettable that these
steps were not taken before the opening. We are glad that BAA
and British Airways have now taken them.