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Pre-booked airport security slots launched in bid to make flying safer

By Neil Lancefield, PA Transport Correspondent

Pre-booked airport security slots are being trialled in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Passengers at Manchester Airport can reserve a free 15-minute window to use a dedicated lane taking them directly to a checkpoint.

The airport’s owner, Manchester Airports Group (MAG), said it is the first time such a system has been used in the UK.

It hopes the scheme will enable passengers to be managed more efficiently and queue sizes to be reduced.

Anyone who misses their slot will be asked to join the standard security queue.

If the trial is successful, it could be rolled out at MAG’s other airports, which are Stansted and East Midlands.

There have been suggestions that passing through security is part of the airport journey where passengers may be most at risk of being infected by Covid-19.

MAG chief operating officer Brad Miller said the pandemic will “reshape the airport experience”.

He went on: “We are exploring every innovation and technology that can help us to adapt to the new world, protect public health and restore confidence in air travel.

“This new measure will allow us to manage our security process more efficiently in these challenging times, providing a better and more comfortable experience for passengers.

“It is the latest in a series of measures introduced by MAG to make travel safer during the pandemic, which includes asking passengers and colleagues to wear face coverings and piloting temperature-screening technologies.”

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