26 Nov 2011

Chaos warnings ahead of British passport control strike

9:26 am on 26 November 2011

A public sector strike in Britain next week looks set to have an international impact with warnings Heathrow airport, among others, will be thrown into chaos.

Thousands of workers will take industrial action on Wednesday over planned changes to pensions as part of Britain's austerity drive.

Heathrow is warning of 12 hour delays and gridlock because of the strike action by immigration officers.

The airport is asking airlines to halve their capacity arriving in Britain on international flights.

Heathrow says the lack of officials to check passports could lead to huge queues in immigration halls, meaning planes would not be able to disembark passengers.

That would fill up the parking stands for planes, keeping others in the air and leading to mass cancellations.

Other British airports are also warning of problems.

The Government is drafting in staff from other areas but admits borders will be congested.