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Airport staff checks sped up amid ‘disaster movie’ scenes at Heathrow

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Ministers battling to dampen the chaos at airports claim security tests for new workers are being completed in record times as passengers criticised “disaster movie” scenes.The transport secretary, Grant Shapps, is trying to alleviate flight disruption this summer to avert the mayhem seen over the Easter and jubilee holidays.Shortages of staff to handle baggage and carry out security checks such as X-rays are fuelling long queues and delays at UK airports.

The government has ordered the vetting centre to prioritise checks for airports so new recruits can help plug the gaps quicker.The Department for Transport (DfT) said counter-terrorist checks for aviation workers are now being processed on average in under 10 days – half March’s time.Accreditation checks are also being sped up to be completed within five days on average, according to the department.

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