Only 10% opt to pay security charge at JLA

Liverpool airport became the first in the country to introduce a charge for using a fast-track security queue at the start of the year, but only 10% of people have opted to pay the £2 fee.

Airport owners Peel Holdings said they had been forced to introduce the charge because security costs at JLA (John Lennon Airport) had almost trebled in the past five years to around £5 million. The company claims to have invested over £80 million in the airport in recent years, but has made a loss of around £15 million over the same period.

travel by train to the plane
Peel initially planned to make the £2 charge compulsory, but was forced to back down when its key airlines easyJet and Ryanair objected. Instead of earning around £6 million from the security charge, if only 10% of people opt to pay it the airport will only make around £600,000 this year.

JLA has had a successful year with passenger numbers between June and August up 13.7% on last year. The airport was also recently named Airport of the Year at the Travel Trade Gazette awards. But the fact it is still recording a loss shows the difficulties airport operators face.

Airport spokesman Robin Tudor says: "It is entirely at each passenger's discretion whether they choose to pay the £2 charge, and from our point of view it is a case of every penny counts towards the cost of security".

Written by: Nick Purdom

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