TRAVELLERS returning from trips abroad could experience delays at Cardiff Airport during the planned border force strikes, though the airport will remain open as usual.

Members of the Public and Commercial Service (PCS) union voted in favour of industrial action over the Christmas period as part of an ongoing dispute over pay, pensions, jobs and redundancy terms. 

Staff at six airports around the UK – Cardiff, Heathrow (Terminals 2, 3, 4, and 5), Gatwick, Birmingham, Glasgow, and Manchester, as well as the ferry port at the Port of Newhaven – will be walking out over the Christmas and New Year period.

The strikes will take place from today (Friday, December 23) until around 7am on Boxing Day, then again from Wednesday, December 28 until around 7am on New Year’s Eve.

A spokesperson for Cardiff Airport said it would remain “open and operational” during the strike period, although passengers returning from abroad “may experience a slightly longer wait at passport control”.

When asked by the Argus if additional personnel, such as the army, would be deployed at the airport during the strikes, a spokesperson for Cardiff Airport said: “We are expecting the Home Office to have suitable measures in place to maintain safe secure border operations at Cardiff Airport at all times.

“We have been advised by the UK Border Force management team, that they are putting contingencies in place to minimise disruption to our flights and passengers and keeping the border open.

“Cardiff Airport is planning to remain open and operational throughout this period.”

“The government can stop these strikes tomorrow if it puts money on the table,” PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said. 

“Like so many workers, our members are struggling with the cost-of-living crisis. They are desperate. They are being told there is no money for them, while they watch ministers giving out government contracts worth billions of pounds to their mates.

“We will fight to improve our members’ pay, terms and conditions regardless of who is in Downing Street.” 

The UK Government has advised passengers to prepare for longer wait times at UK border control, and to check the latest advice from their operators before travelling.  

“Please be patient and respect officers who are working to keep our citizens safe and border secure, and supporting travellers during the strike action,” said a spokesperson.