Airport problems may last into the busy summer season

Airport problems may last into the busy summer season.

The ongoing problem due to a shortage of manpower, means that the issues currently faced at many UK airports could continue well into the summer.

Lucy Moreton, from the Immigration Services Union, claimed that the UK Border Force was “catastrophically under-staffed” and that it took nearly a year to fully train new officers.

Many other experts are predicting it will take 12 months for things to get “back to normal”.

Many travellers going abroad over the busy Easter period claimed that the airports were a disaster, with long queues and many flight cancellations.

The travel industry seriously reduced its workforce over the pandemic, in response to reduced demand. The demand has now bounced back but airports are struggling to keep up.

“For the first time in living memory, Border Force is no longer attracting enough candidates to fill the vacancies that they’ve got,” Ms Moreton told the BBC.

The Aviation Recruitment Network, which works in conjunction with airports including Manchester Airport, said it currently had more than 300 live vacancies – an all-time high for this time of year.

Heathrow has said compulsory background searches and lengthy necessary training result in it taking around 6 months before a new recruit can actually be productive and on the job.

Heahtrow aims to have 1,000 new security officers recruited and in their posts by the summer.

Manchester airport are being a little more optimistic about how long it will take to return to normal. Ken O’Toole, the deputy chief executive of Manchester Airports Group, said current manpower issues meant long queues at security could continue for around four to six weeks.