Shropshire Star

Birmingham Airport's £40m security hall build on track to cut queues

Birmingham Airport bosses say a £40m security hall upgrade designed to cut queues by making things quicker, easier and safer for customers is on track to be completed next summer.

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An artist's impression of how the security lanes will look

Work to build its new, state-of-the-art security screening area is well under way and the new facility is set to be operational by June 2024.

It is hoped the move will help to boost efficiency as customers return in high numbers following the pandemic.

Passenger numbers slipped dramatically to one million in 2020-21 but are expected to return to pre-pandemic levels of 12 million plus in 2023-24, having reached 10.5 million in 2022-23.

Until work is complete, the existing pre-flight security area remains in use as do existing security guidelines, including removing liquids and large electrical items from hand luggage.

Nick Barton, chief executive of BHX, said: “Our new security area is a major investment which will make things quicker and easier for customers.

“And the improved efficiency it delivers will help grow our annual customer numbers from 12m to 18m by 2033, in turn helping boost economic growth across the West Midlands region.”

He said customers would see work being done and asked for patience while it is carried out.

Birmingham Airport's Nick Barton

“Imagine a football stadium having its stands rebuilt and its pitch re-laid while continuing to stage matches,” he said.

“That’s rather like what we’re doing at Birmingham Airport right now.

“Customers will see construction outside the terminal and various areas cordoned off.

“Walking routes and queuing spaces, including on the ground floor, will change this summer as work progresses. Our wayfinding and other signage will change too - and, of course, our friendly staff will be on hand to help customers stay on the move.”

He said BHX’s Next-Generation Security (NGS) system will deliver a speedier and simpler pre-flight screening process capable of serving significantly more passengers per hour at peak times.

As advice, customers travelling this Easter and summer have been reminded to arrive at the airport in good time, at least two hours before flights, and in line with when their airline’s advice.

Passengers should prepare themselves and hand luggage for the pre-flight security scanners, remove laptops, tablets, kindles and other large electric items from bags and all liquids should be removed from bags and placedinto a 20cm-by-20cm resealable clear plastic pouch before going through security.

Items over 100ml cannot travel as hand luggage and belts, large items of jewellery, jackets and boots should be removed.

Passengers have been asked to expect different walking routes through as the new BHX security area is built.

UK Government requires all airports to be compliant with new standards by June 1, 2024.