Radcliffe, 52, was second in command of BA's IT operation, where he had held a number of key IT positions since joining it as a computer trainee in 1974. He became director of IT delivery at the end of last year, having been promoted to the post of information management operations director in November 2000.
A spokesman for BA said there was still "a great sense of shock" in the IT department. Radcliffe had been with the firm for nearly 30 years and had managed many big projects, ranging from major software implementations through to process re-engineering and organisational change.
Shortly before his death, Radcliffe was working on the company's ongoing IT 21 project, aimed at redefining processes and removing complexity.
Paul Coby, BA's chief information officer, described Radcliffe's death as "a tragic loss of a valuable member of the airline's IT department and a senior British Airways manager".