Weather and airline failure dents December stats
BAA has reported that total traffic at its six airports reached 8 million in December, a year-on-year fall of 0.9%.
But the airport operator claimed it would have seen growth were it not for the abysmal weather conditions and the collapse of Scottish operator Globespan.
It estimated that the cold weather alone accounted for the loss of 150,000 potential passengers.
Heathrow recorded a 1.2% rise in passengers, the only airport to show positive growth. Bosses attributed the increase to a boost in scheduled traffic and the long-haul network to Asia, Africa and Australia.
Stansted airport in Bedfordshire posted its best monthly figures since March 2008, but still suffered a 2.6% year-on-year decline.
Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen airports also reported sharp falls in traffic after Globespan was placed into administration on December 16.
Aberdeen was down 9.4% year-on-year, Glasgow 8.8% while Edinburgh faired slightly better at a 4.4% drop.
BAA's other airport, Southampton, saw passenger figures decline 5.9%.
The operator's overall figures for 2009 - 106.9 million - were down 4.2% on the previous year's total.
Colin Matthews, BAA's chief executive, said: "2009 was a difficult year for our airline customers. Towards the end of the year, we saw signs of improvements, particularly at Heathrow, but there are more challenging times ahead in 2010."