Birmingham Airport staff issues could last till Autumn as bank holiday surge continues

Birmingham Airport has admitted that staffing levels are 15% below what they would like as 147,200 are expected to fly out for the Jubilee bank holiday

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Birmingham Airport is preparing for one of its busiest weekends since before the pandemic- but remains short staffed with around 15% less workers than it wants, with staffing levels problems set to persist till Autumn.

More than 147,200 people are booked to fly in and out of Birmingham Airport over the four-day Platinum Jubilee weekend (Thursday June 2 to Sunday June 5) - which is around 89% of pre-pandemic customer volumes.

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CEO Nick Barton has admitted that he doesn’t expect Birmingham Airport to be fully staffed until September - or even October.

This is despite a cohort of new security officers being deployed at the airport last week (w/c May 23), with more due to start in early June.

The airport is also continuing with its recruitment campaign for the rest of the year, with another Birmingham Airport Jobs Fair being held on June 23.

Birmingham AirportBirmingham Airport
Birmingham Airport

What has Birmingham Airport CEO Nick Barton said about staffing issues in his own words?

Mr Barton said: "We expect the summer to be really busy. We’ll be largely back where we want to be through the middle of August.

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"In terms of getting ourselves back to normal fully, probably September, October, but that shouldn’t deter anyone from travelling through Birmingham Airport in the meantime," he says.

“We are so pleased to see customers back at BHX again.

“In the darkest days of lockdown, there were eerie moments when birdsong was the loudest sound on our airfield.

Much as I love the sound of birds singing, I’m relieved to hear the buzz of airport activity once again as customers take to the skies in large numbers.”

“I’d like to thank customers who present compliant baggage at our pre-flight security screening - with liquids, gels, pastes and larger electrical items removed. This helps us help you keep moving. It also helps our security officers in their vital task of keeping everyone safe.”

Birmingham AirportBirmingham Airport
Birmingham Airport

Why are there staffing problems at Birmingham Airport?

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The airport has previously explained that staffing issues are due to the pandemic when it was forced to lay off 43% of its staff.

Al Titterington, Terminal Operations Director for Birmingham Airport, said: “The cause of the problem is this: having spent the past two years running at about 30% of pre-pandemic volumes, we reduced staff numbers accordingly. Now we have a sudden return of people wanting to fly but we don’t yet have the right numbers of security officers to check everyone through as quickly as we or they would like at peak times.

“We’re working to fix this. We’ve been running a big recruitment drive since January. We’re currently hiring and training more security officers every month until we’re up speed.”

Birmingham AirportBirmingham Airport
Birmingham Airport

How do passenger numbers over the Jubilee bank holiday compare?

With 147,200 due to fly in and out of Birmingham Airport over the bank holiday it will be one of the busiest weekends since the pandemic when the airport had higher staffing levels.

The airport said the numbers are:

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144 times more than over the 2020 late May bank holiday (Fri May 22 to Mon 25) when Britain was in Covid lockdown and just 1,000 people arrived and departed from BHX

Over 10 times more than the 2021 late May bank holiday (Fri May 28 to Mon 31) when Covid restrictions were still in force and 14,300 people passed through the Midlands travel hub

89% of the numbers who passed through BHX over the 2019 late May bank holiday (Fri May 24 to Mon 27) before Covid took hold when 14,300 passed through the Midlands travel hub.

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