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Last Updated: Tuesday, 9 January 2007, 10:31 GMT
Airport getting 'back to normal'
The first flight touches down at Bristol International Airport after the runway reopened
Safety grooves have been cut into the runway surface
Managers at Bristol International Airport said it was "business as usual" on Tuesday after four disrupted days for more than 25,000 passengers.

Some 10 airlines boycotted the airport over the weekend amid concerns over runway safety, leading to 385 flights being either cancelled or diverted.

Services are now running at 90% of the normal level.

"Tomorrow we're hoping to be fully operational again," an airport spokesman said.

Bosses, who had insisted the runway was safe, were finally forced to close the runway on Sunday in order to carry out emergency work on the surface to improve drainage.

Flights diverted

The spokesman said: "Today we're about 90% operational. Aircraft still need to be repositioned from Cardiff and Birmingham back to Bristol but all the airlines are back using the airport.

"We're hoping to process 14,000 passengers today."

Thousands of passengers were stranded or had their flights diverted after the airlines refused to use Bristol during the crisis.

Problems began after the airport announced its 17m runway resurfacing plans last October, with work scheduled to last five months.

Pilots aired concerns that planes were skidding and over-shooting the runway as they struggled to brake on a temporary section, leading easyJet to cancel all flights on Friday.

Other airlines joined the protest over the runway, despite assurances from the Civil Aviation Authority that it was safe.

Engineers worked through Sunday evening and Monday morning to cut grooves into the runway to improve drainage.

EasyJet said it had made no decision yet on whether to claim compensation from Bristol International for the disruption.

Airport bosses refused to speculate on how much the four days of travel chaos cost.

Cost of airport closure uncertain
08 Jan 07 |  Bristol/Somerset
Runway reopens at Bristol Airport
08 Jan 07 |  Bristol/Somerset
Hopes for end to airport boycott
08 Jan 07 |  Bristol/Somerset
Bristol runway shut in safety row
07 Jan 07 |  Bristol/Somerset


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