Holidaymakers told to expect delays
AIR travellers have been warned by airport chiefs to expect delays at Stansted during busy times throughout the rest of the year.The problem is set to be exacerbated during the busy Easter holiday period - a popular time for family holidays.
AIR travellers have been warned by airport chiefs to expect delays at Stansted during busy times throughout the rest of the year.
The problem is set to be exacerbated during the busy Easter holiday period - a popular time for family holidays.
The warning was issued by airport operators British Airport Authority (BAA) despite the completion of a £2million extension to Stansted's security search area, and plans to recruit more security staff.
BAA's Chief Executive, Stephen Nelson, said he wants to eventually reduce queuing at airports to five minutes or less on 95% of trips - but warned reaching the target will take time.
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He said: “We will not be able to guarantee it - not at Easter, not even in the summer.”
Mr Nelson added that BAA was hoping to reach the five-minute target outside peak times at Heathrow during the summer and that the target would be close to being achieved at Gatwick and Edinburgh this summer.
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But he said that Stansted was more of a “long-term story”.
It comes as Stansted has completed a £2 million extension to its security search area as it prepares to welcome more than a million passengers during the busy Easter period.
The extension increases the number of security x-ray machines from 14 to 16, provides space for additional archway metal detectors, and creates more security lanes and entry points to the search area.
Mark Murphy, the airport's customer services director, said: “Since August 10th last year, when security measures at all UK airports were greatly increased, we have worked extremely hard to ensure our passengers experience a trouble free journey through the terminal.
“In addition to extending the security search area, more than 200 extra security officers have been recruited, and by the summer that number will have increased further.”
Record numbers of people are expected to move through the airport during Easter, traditionally one of Stansted's busiest times of the year.
Now, in a bid to cut waiting times, the airport has offered advice to travellers about the best way to prepare for their flights.
Mr Murphy added: “As with any busy international airport we will undoubtedly have queues at peak times, but if passengers follow some simple rules then queuing times will be kept to a minimum.
“Only one small piece of hand luggage per person can be taken through security, and passengers can only carry liquids in containers that are under 100ml and placed in a clear plastic bag.
“A full list of the current security restrictions can be found at www.stanstedairport.com.”
In order to avoid delays and reduce congestion, passengers are advised to follow these travel tips before they leave home:
nPack as much as possible in your checked-in luggage.
nYou can only take one item of hand baggage through security (note: a handbag counts as one piece of hand luggage).
nHand luggage must be no larger than 55cm tall, 40cm wide and 20cm deep.
nLiquids taken in hand baggage must be in individual containers not greater than 100ml capacity. They must be placed in a transparent re-sealable bag, no larger than 20cm x 20cm (8" x 8") in size.
nAllow plenty of time for your journey to the airport.
nArrive at the airport at least 2 hours before your flight.
nOnce you have checked in - go straight to security.