In recent years, stringent security measures have been implemented across all UK airports, ensuring the threat of terrorism is kept to a minimum, as well as keeping illegal immigrant levels down.
However Bournemouth Airport failed to comply with strict security measures recently as a plane-load of people flew into Britain from Spain without having their documents checked in either country, officials admitted.
Ryanair passengers were said to be furious that there was no system in place to check for possible illegal immigrants or terrorists.
180 passengers flew on the Ryanair flight from Malaga to Bournemouth, where they walked out of the airport without showing their passports.
One passenger, 59 year old Bob Shepherd, the managing director of an overseas property company based in Spain, and a frequent flyer, said airport security had been farcical.
He said: ‘The bottom line is that something like 180 people got into England via Bournemouth Airport without any form of identification required.
‘Bournemouth Airport’s security was a farce on that day.’ He also added that there had been no passport control in Malaga, which he said heightened the danger of illegal entry to the UK.
‘It was bizarre the way we were waved through in Malaga, I could have had Mickey Mouse on my passport.
‘I could have been a known terrorist going through Bournemouth without being stopped.’
It is thought that a break-down in communication meant that no officials from the UK Border Agency were at the airport when the flight landed to check passengers passports.
A spokesman for the UK Border Agency shifted the blame onto the airline and handling company, saying it is their responsibility to advise their staff when inbound flights arrive.
He said: ‘We were not notified on this occasion until passengers had passed through to the baggage reclaim area.
‘We are concerned that this situation occurred and we are working with the airport to ensure it does not happen again.’
A spokesman for Bournemouth Airport admitted that the situation should not have occurred, saying ‘The airport is urgently investigating how the airline’s handling agent allowed passengers to enter the arrivals building before UK Border Agency staff were in place to receive them.’
It is fairly inconceivable how in this day and age a mistake of this magnitude can occur so easily and can be palmed off so freely. The consequences, had there been an actual threat on the flight, don’t even bear thinking about….who could be the one to blame then?