The British government has vowed to work with the aviation industry to resolve disruption seen at airports across the UK in recent days.

Grant Shapps, the Transport Secretary, said ministers would support the sector after passengers faced long queues and cancelled flights.

“We’ll work with the industry very hard … to make sure we don’t see a repeat of those scenes,” he said.

Staffing reforms

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) last week called for reforms to the way staffing within the ground handling sector was managed.

Thousands of ground handling staff left the aviation industry during the pandemic and as aviation ramps up, the severe shortage of skilled ground handlers has highlighted the need to “stabilise” the talent pool, IATA said.

Security clearance bottleneck

The most pressing issue is the bottleneck for security clearances as the airline industry prepares for the peak northern summer season, the body added.

The UK government and aviation industry are to form a working group ahead of the summer holidays to work through issues of shared concern together.

‘Lots of moving parts’

Chief Executive of Airlines UK, Tim Alderslade, said: “We want to work collaboratively with ministers to resolve these issues as quickly as possible, in good time for the summer peak.

“We ultimately have to work together to solve this. Aviation is a complex eco-system with lots of moving parts and we can’t operate in isolation.

“This isn’t an airline issue or an airport issue or a government issue. We’re in this together and we look forward to exploring options with ministers to move the sector forwards as we approach the summer.”

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