LONDON — Higher, stronger — but not necessarily faster.
Four of Britain’s leading airlines say the government must do more to prevent severe delays and disruptions at London airports during this summer’s Olympics.
Britain expects hundreds of thousands of visitors for the games, including more than 10,000 athletes and 20,000 media personnel.
British Airways, bmi, easyJet and Virgin Atlantic said in a letter to the government published Saturday that an Olympic surge in passengers means any security alert or bad weather could cause chaos unless special arrangements are made.
The airlines say disruption can be minimized if air traffic controllers agree to change their usual practice and give scheduled flights priority over charters and business jets.
The letter warns that “failure to respond leaves the U.K. vulnerable to the type of major disruption that will cause significant reputational damage and would be foolhardy and reckless.”
Airlines, government and aviation authorities are due to meet Thursday to discuss plans for the July 27-Aug. 12 games.
The Transport Department said that “a range of special measures” would reduce disruption. “We are confident that the majority of these additional issues have now been addressed and we look forward to discussing them with the airlines concerned at a meeting next week,” the department said.