Airport security check back to two lanes
AFTER problems with long queues and flight delays, Guernsey Airport’s security area is back up to two lanes.
But airport managers have warned that the era of getting through security quickly is coming to an end.
The area was reduced to one lane while building work is taking place.
However this resulted in passengers queueing for up to an hour to get through security, with red-eye flights being particularly badly affected.
Ports general manager Colin Le Ray said staff had worked until late on Thursday to restore the second lane ready for yesterday’s early flights.
‘We have worked hard with all parties involved in this enhancement to get two lanes of security screening back in operation,’ he said.
‘I would like to thank all those involved in making this happen. We are confident passengers and staff will benefit from more space, a better working environment, and an expanded range of duty-free shopping when the construction work is completed.
‘There is never an ideal time to improve passenger facilities while keeping the terminal operational at the same time. But, this time of year was a good time to do the project, where it is relatively quiet when compared to our busy summer season.’
Head of aviation services Ash Nicholas said he understood there had been problems.
‘We recognise no one likes queuing for long periods and we are urging passengers to still allow plenty of time to get through security,’ he said.
‘Like other airports the convenience of turning up at the terminal and expecting to get on your flight within 20 minutes are now coming to an end.
‘Security procedures mean more time is required to get through screening and the airport has no option but to introduce them when instructed to do so.’
Mr Le Ray said they still had problems with passengers trying to carry three or four items of hand luggage through security, which was causing delays.
Even with two lanes yesterday, the last red-eye passengers did not get through security until about 6.50am, when the first three flights are due to depart by 7.15am.
The work is part of a wider investment that Guernsey Airport has made in passenger facilities while also carrying out maintenance work.
Work to lay a new floor in departures has been taking place at the same time as the security upgrade.
The old blue carpet has been replaced with a hard-wearing surface that will be easier to clean and longer lasting.
New LED lighting across the terminal has been installed, saving on long-term energy costs.
The former Blue Islands lounge in departures has been taken away, and a free water fountain has been put in, which has been well received by airport passengers and users.
The security lanes are due to drop back to one again after Christmas.
Mr Le Ray said they were reviewing that, but said if they did need to close the second lane again it would not have the same impact because passenger numbers dropped in January.