A Parliamentary committee has warned of gridlock at immigration checkpoints during the upcoming London Olympics.
The plea comes via a letter issued by the Culture Media and Sport Committee to Jeremy Hunt, the minister commissioned to oversee the event. The group warned that Border Agency checkpoints at major UK airports surrounding the capital are likely to not have enough staffing to deal with the influx of visitors.
The warning is the second in just a week that said the country’s airports are unprepared for the games; reports said last week that airlines had warned ministers that chaos was to be expected at immigration checkpoints following a private meeting between the BAA, Heathrow’s operating firm, and officials from the UK Border Agency.
The latest figures show that Heathrow airport is expecting to see as many as 138,000 passengers arrive on the busiest days surrounding the two-week event. The number marks an increase of 45 per cent over the number of expected arrivals – about 95,000 – on a typical summer day.
Meanwhile, the BAA has said in a statement that it is calling on the Border Force to step up operations during the Olympics to avoid delays that it says are “frequently unacceptable”.
The UK Border Force has since issued a response saying that it was “well prepared” for the event but that it would not compromise security efforts.