By politics.co.uk staff
The government could overhaul airport regulation following recent travel chaos.
Ministers suggested they were determined to prepare reforms of the way Britain's airports are controlled, with fines possible for firms like BAA.
The run-up to Christmas was dominated by headlines about travel disruption following the decision to close Heathrow, the country's largest airport.
Observers say the moves could persuade firms like BAA to invest in better equipment to cope with heavy snowfall.
"We want to make sure that airports are doing their very best to prepare for severe weather conditions," aviation minister Theresa Villiers said.
"They need to perform properly and they need to prepare properly."
BAA is keenly aware of the damage last week's disruption has caused. Its chief executive, Colin Matthews, gave up his annual bonus in light of the delays and cancellations caused by last week's severe weather.
"Performance and passenger satisfaction" are among the factors being considered by transport secretary Philip Hammond, he told the Sunday Times newspaper.