Action promised on airport queue issue

LUTON Airport says it has asked the Border Agency to help it reduce waiting times at immigration, where ‘unacceptable’ queues have been building up.

Luton North MP Kelvin Hopkins last week asked immigration minister Damian Green to look into delays.

Speaking in a debate at the House of Commons, he said: “London Luton airport is seeking to expand and make a greater contribution to South East airports’ capacity.

“However, the airport operator, Luton Borough Council and the staff themselves have serious concerns about under-capacity at immigration control and long queues.”

Mr Green told the MP that issues at the airport were being taken seriously,

A spokesman for airport operator LLAOL said: “There are times during the day when the length of immigration queues are unacceptable, and we have asked the UK Border Agency to work towards our objectives of a waiting time target of 15 minutes for EU passengers.

“London Luton also requires a commitment from the UKBA that the necessary investment will be made to employ more staff and improve efficiencies.

“As the operator, we have committed to investing in the infrastructure of the airport to help the UKBA reduce immigration queues.”

A Border Force spokesperson said security was its priority and that the ‘vast majority’ of passengers arriving at Luton passed through immigration quickly.

He said: “We work closely with the airport management to look at ways to improve the passenger experience so we welcome their investment, which will increase the capacity and improve the layout of the arrivals hall.

“In the mean time we will continue to flexibly manage our resources to ensure that disruption is always kept to a minimum while not compromising on border security.”

Meanwhile, easyJet has launched a ‘strategic vision’ for the future of the airport.

It wants improved infrastructure, better access for passengers by road and rail and a ‘positive consumer image’ of the airport.

Chief exec Carolyn McCall said: “At present London Luton Airport is not as good as it could be.”