Birmingham Airport security delays and why passengers continue to face queues

Passengers at Birmingham Airport have been left with lingering headaches due to persistent security issues – the latest to flare up this week. One traveler reported this week that people were “passing out while queuing in chaotic scenes”.

Another said “the security line was through the terminal building and down the street.” On Tuesday evening (May 7), the Home Office confirmed that a Border Force issue had caused delays at Birmingham Airport, part of a “nationwide issue” also affecting Heathrow, Gatwick, Bristol, Manchester, Edinburgh and Newcastle airports .

Social media was abuzz with videos and images showing long queues. The Ministry of the Interior announced the next day, May 8, that the problem had been resolved. However, this is not the first time such an incident has occurred, with a similar situation occurring in April.

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So why do these problems persist and what steps are being taken to prevent them in the future? Our colleagues at Birmingham Live have looked into this very question.

The Home Office, which oversees the Border Force, confirmed there was “a nationwide issue due to a problem with the eGates passport last night (May 7)”, according to a BBC report. eGates are automated gates that use facial recognition technology to verify a person’s identity, allowing them to enter the country without interacting with a Border Force officer.

Across the UK’s 15 air and rail ports, there are more than 270 electronic gates available, according to the government’s website, which it claims are designed to “enable faster travel within the UK”. However, yesterday staff reverted to manual checks for security processing due to a breakdown in the national system.

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