Commons Gate

The Future of BAA (HC 119-ii)

Transport Committee 28 Nov 2007

Labour Party logo

Evidence given by 2.45 p.m. British Airways Dr Paul Ellis, General Manager, Infrastructure Policy and Economic Regulation easyJet Toby Nicol, Communications Director American Airlines Don Langford, Managing Director, Services - Europe & India: 3.15 p.m. BAA Ltd Stephen Nelson, Chief Executive Sir Nigel Rudd, Non-Executive Chairman Kyran Hanks, Director of Regulation: 4.15 p.m. Department for Transport Jim Fitzpatrick MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State and Jonathan Moor, Director of Airports Strategy, Department for Transport:

Q168 Mr. Eric Martlew: Just on that, has the situation got better with regard to the security queues? I went through Stansted on Saturday morning and there was not a problem, so are things better than obviously they were in the summer?

Dr Ellis: Yes, there have been some improvements, but we have a long way to go, particularly in terms of the transfer of passengers, where they are still facing very long queues and indeed BA are currently seeking to defer the implementation of the recommendations of the Competition Commission in terms of dealing with those transfer security queues and indeed the control post queues which we heard referred to earlier. We are, of course, looking forward to further improvement earlier in the New Year when the "two bags" rule starts to be amended.


232 Mr. Eric Martlew: Just on that point, you said you had 35,000 applicants. How many people have you taken on?

Mr Nelson: Close to 2,000 as a result of that, so we are operating at a five to six per cent success rate.

Q233 Mr. Eric Martlew: What is that 2,000 as a percentage of your total security force?

Mr Nelson: It is about 50 per cent.

Q234 Mr. Eric Martlew: So you have increased it?

Mr Nelson: We have increased it by 50 per cent, and we will go on recruiting until we get better standards of queuing. Could I just make the point that, for example, coming up to December, where of course we are looking very carefully at the Christmas period, there are times both in Terminal 2 and Terminal 3 where we will have all lanes fully manned and there will be queues because of the physical capacity constraints.


Q246 Mr. Eric Martlew: Very briefly, is Mr Nelson aware of the popular survey which indicates that the majority of people living near the airport support its development rather than oppose it?

Mr Nelson: Yes, I am, Mr Wilshire.


Q256 Mr. Eric Martlew: The emphasis on stricter border controls and passport controls - as I say, I went through Stansted at the weekend - is that causing problems? Are there delays at the border controls?

Mr Nelson: There are delays at border controls, and again it serves no one, I think, to be casting blame. What we are doing is - and this is welcomed by both the DfT and the Home Office - we are putting automated systems in so that we can measure exactly what those delays are and we will have those implemented in the spring.

Q257 Mr. Eric Martlew: Would it not be better just to put more passport operators there?

Mr Nelson: That is a matter for the Home Office and I think it needs to lie with the Home Office in that context.

Graham Stringer: Mr Nelson, I have lost count, you might be the fifth or the sixth senior representative of BAA who have sat at that table before the Select Committee over the last ten years. You are the first one to be in favour of a third runway, rather surprisingly.

Chairman: Openly!

This is an uncorrected transcript of evidence taken in public and reported to the House. The transcript has been placed on the internet on the authority of the Committee. Neither witnesses nor Members have had the opportunity to correct the record. The transcript is not yet an approved formal record of these proceedings.

The full transcript may be read at

Legislative Work page | Return to Homepage

On behalf of Eric Martlew, 3 Chatsworth Square Carlisle Cumbria CA1 1HB