Justine Greening, secretary of state for transport, has acknowledged the current queuing problems at passport control at Heathrow and other UK airports are “a problem that needs to be fixed”.
Ms Greening was responding to questions from the floor following the release this morning of a report highly critical of the level of service provided by the UK Border Force following staff cuts last year.
The minister stated she believed that extra resources introduced recently at Heathrow had led to improvements though she declined to give details of these improvements when questioned.
The minister also ruled out the option of a third runway at Heathrow and permission for mixed mode use of runways where runways can be used for both take-off and landing.
This follows speculation recently the government may reconsider its decision to rule out the creation of a third runway at the UK’s hub airport.
Discussing the need for extra airport capacity she confirmed that this “was a nettle that needed to be grasped” but there was also need for a more informed, less heated debate on the issue.
Speaking at the ABTA Travel Matters event earlier, she also asserted capacity issues needed to be looked at throughout the country not just in the south-east of England.