Heathrow boss resigns after T5 systems disaster

The managing director of Heathrow Airport, Mark Bullock, has quit six weeks after the chaotic opening of Terminal 5.

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The managing director of Heathrow Airport, Mark Bullock, has quit six weeks after the chaotic opening of Terminal 5.

He will be replaced by Mike Brown, chief operating officer at London Underground.

He is the first senior manager at BAA, which runs the airport, to leave a job after the problems. He said "the time is clearly right for me to move on". BAA would now have a "renewed focus on day-to-day operations", he said.

A month ago, British Airways’ director of operations, Gareth Kirkwood, and director of customer services, David Noyes, left their posts. BA is the sole tenant at the terminal.

The opening of T5 in March was beset by a catalogue of problems when a high-tech baggage system broke down and log-on problems left staff unable to get into work.

Last week, BAA chief executive Colin Matthews told the Transport Select Committee that there should have been more testing of the baggage systems, but said his company had yet to investigate who knew what and when.

British Airways chief executive Willie Walsh admitted he regretted not postponing the launch of the airport until training was complete. He added that a message filter accidentally left on after software testing and staff training was at the root of the baggage system problems.

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