Air traffic

East Midlands Airport is recruiting retired police and air traffic controllers in a bid to eliminate queues

Former airport staff are expected to return to work at East Midlands Airport this summer to ensure it avoids the scenes of chaos seen at other airports across the country. Airline passengers have been hit with cancellations and long delays at other airports for several months.

East Midlands Airport has managed to avoid major disruption so far – and is keen to keep it that way. It has recruited a number of retired airport police officers and air traffic controllers to work there again, as 5,000 more passengers are expected to pass through the terminals again this summer.

Those persuaded to come out of retirement are not returning to their old jobs and will work as volunteers patrolling the terminal to answer passengers’ questions and help them when needed. The network of volunteers, called Friends of EMA, will also be joined by students from the International Air and Space Training Institute in Newark, in an effort to keep queues to a minimum.

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At this time last year, only around 600-700 passengers passed through the EMA as the tourism industry continued to struggle in the wake of the pandemic. Now that restrictions have been lifted and people are clamoring for holidays abroad again, around 14,000 to 15,000 passengers fly from Castle Donington Airport every day.

Michael Grimes, EMA’s Director of Customer Services and Security, said: “We want our passengers to have the best possible start to their travels and holidays. I know for some people that airports can be daunting places, especially for those who haven’t “I haven’t traveled for a while or don’t travel regularly. We’re doing everything we can to help passengers relax and enjoy what is an exciting part of vacation.”

Long queues have been reported at some UK airports

He added: “As part of our commitment to educating and developing people of all ages to give them the best opportunity to obtain employment with us, it is great to extend an offer to young people who are passionate about aviation. I am very much looking forward to mentoring and supporting our new team of eight cadets. I am also delighted that former colleagues want to help and support. It is great to welcome them back.