Birmingham Airport commuter has one big concern about new security hall upgrade

A regular Birmingham Airport user has voiced his single concern as the airport unveils its latest update. Mark McCarron, who has been commuting from the Solihull-based BHX for years, says he's generally had "no issues."

Mark, an HS2 employee, travels weekly between Birmingham and Belfast and has observed the significant changes at the airport during its security hall overhaul, throughout the pandemic, and amid staffing challenges.

Yet, with the new security checkpoint now operational, frequent flyer Mark expressed to BirminghamLive his worry that it might disrupt his routine and affect other passengers.

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"As a weekly traveller through Birmingham Airport I am concerned about the new security hall not being fit for purpose" Mark commented. "When all the building works are completed, will the new security hall be big enough to hold the queuing passengers (fit for purpose) or will they still have to queue outside? ", reports Birmingham Live.

He's referring to the queues that sometimes extend into the terminal during busy periods, with recent Bank Holiday scenes showing throngs of travellers lined up outside waiting to pass through security.

Airport officials have assured that additional staff have been brought in from various departments to manage the "predicted" surge and that they are "fully resourced" for peak times.

While the £60 million security upgrade has been labelled a boon by certain commuters like Mark, there exists a worry that this might not solve the issue of queues. Describing his routine he said: "I work on the HS2, I travel in early week (no issues) and I travel out every Friday evening to Belfast."

Throwing light on the new system, he states: "Yes it is a quicker process with these new scanners, however, it's slowed down due to everyone having to go through the body scanners slowing the process down."

Mark shared his observation about how some passengers manage to avoid the drawn-out airport security lines, an incident that left him feeling the situation was rather unjust.

Narrating his experience from May 24, he recalled: "Yesterday morning, I found it disgraceful that anyone coming from the Air Rail link from Birmingham International Station and who doesn't need to check in luggage, are ordered by staff to go straight through to security bypassing the large queues of hundreds/thousands of people queuing through the terminal downstairs and outside."

"I was one that was ordered to bypass the queue. A benefit for me, but I did feel bad for the people outside."

Speaking further on his commute, Mark shared: "I generally return on a Monday or Tuesday morning. Apart from re-staffing issues after COVID-19 in 2022, which all airports experienced, I had no issues."

"Even while the construction works have been in place, I've had no issue. It's since they have switched to the new security hall in the past three to four weeks."

BHX response

Birmingham Airport was asked about the security hall concerns raised by Mark. They couldn't provide specific details due to safety reasons, but they did address queue-jumping issues.

A Birmingham Airport spokesperson stated: "The day-to-day operation of the airport can easily change and this is managed effectively by our teams. Operational decisions are taken to ensure that all customers are treated fairly."

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