Heathrow pays £500,000 penalty over misleading queuing times

Kathryn Liston
Heathrow pays £500,000 penalty for misleading queuing times
Heathrow pays £500,000 penalty for misleading queuing times

Heathrow's Terminal 5 - PA

Heathrow Airport has been forced to pay a £500,000 penalty to airlines over passenger queuing times at security that were longer than reported.

Both Heathrow and Gatwick have agreed to tighten up their queue monitoring procedures following an investigation by the Civil Aviation Authority.

The CAA said that an independent audit at Heathrow's Terminal 5 revealed that 'the queue profile visibly differed between when the auditors were present and the profile in previous months.'

A report by Travelmole said that in the audited month, July 2011, a higher proportion of passengers queued for longer than five minutes than in the previous months.

Heathrow's penalty payment is the first for security queues since December 2010.

At Gatwick's North Terminal, the audit reported that the queue profile different between the audited month and previous months.

Iain Osborne, CAA Director of Regulatory Policy, said: "The CAA is ensuring that the UK's two largest airports' measurement of their security queue performance is of the highest possible standard. We welcome the airports' agreement to the steps we consider necessary in light of the audit to ensure the date is beyond reproach."

The airports have agreed to separate the management of queues from the measurement of queuing times.