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BAA unveil £40m plans

Airports operator BAA have unveiled a new plan aimed at improved security, an end to congestion and reduced queuing times at its airports.

BAA owns Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted airports along with Glasgow, Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Southampton airports. The £40 million will pay to recruit an extra 1,400 security guards and open a further 22 new security lanes across the operator's UK airports.

Customer service improvements

BAA are planning a multi-billion investment programme to improve the customer experience across its airports. New facilities, improvement of existing terminals and increasing airports' overall capacity are all on the agenda as BAA look toward 2012 and London hosting the Olympics. By 2012, Chief Executive of Heathrow Airport Tony Douglas, stated that BAA aim to "have either rebuilt of redeveloped all our terminals and returned Heathrow to its rightful status as the world's leading international airport."

Heathrow Airport has already recruited an extra 500 security staff after acknowledging problems at the airport - Mr Douglas admitted "customer service at Heathrow has been unacceptable and at times it continues to be unacceptable." BAA's plan - dubbed "Putting Passengers First" - aims to tackle the immediate issue of queuing times. BAA are confident that once the process is complete the extra lanes should cut queuing times to 5 minutes or less for, according to Stephen Nelson, BAA's chief executive, "95% of the time."

The airport operator admits that it will take time to reach it's targets and that a queuing time no longer than 5 minutes is unlikely to be reached by Easter or summer. BAA are even contemplating the use of marquees for passengers waiting outside terminals.

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