Commenting on the on ongoing delays at Belfast International Airport, the Ulster Unionist MLA Steve Aiken said:
“There are obviously substantial issues around security. It needs to be worked on and it needs to be worked on now.” (see story below)
There certainly are such issues and they certainly do need to be worked on. But they needed to be worked on in 2017, when first reports of them emerged. It is now 2019.
It is intolerable that this is recurring feature of Northern Ireland’s largest airport.
The airport’s response is woeful, telling passengers to turn up two hours before what might be a short flight. They might as well tell people to fly from a better-run airport or to use 90 minutes of the two hours driving the motorway to Dublin, where an array of flight routes is on offer.
These delays are wholly the responsibility of the airport. It has been saying for weeks that its security provider is urgently recruiting staff, but in the meantime it should be facilitating emergency measures.
Perhaps that might involve offering extra rates of overtime pay for security staff on a short term basis. How it is resolved is a matter first for the security firm but ultimately for Aldergrove.
In the meantime, many thousands of even well organised passengers are getting a scare as they turn up early, then wait in long queues. Some of them are missing flights. It is highly unflattering publicity for Belfast International.