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BALPA welcomes first steps on airport testing but says it needs to be more widespread and cheaper

The British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) has welcomed the introduction of rapid COVID-19 testing at Heathrow airport but says the scheme needs to be more widespread and cheaper.

BALPA has been calling for an airport testing system to help improve passenger confidence and get people flying again.

It welcomed the new testing but said, for the greatest impact, it needs to be available to all travellers at all airports and should be part of a wider system to replace the current quarantine system.

BALPA General Secretary, Brian Strutton, said:

“It’s a step forward, but we still have miles to go. The travelling public need a comprehensive, easy to understand system to replace the chaotic, everchanging, confusing travel corridors and quarantine systems.

“The tests also need to be cheaper if we want to see a widespread uptake amongst business and leisure passengers.

“The progress to this point, in terms of support for UK aviation, has been far too slow. Global travel remains acutely impacted by coronavirus and it needs help now. BALPA urges the Government to act swiftly to support aviation by backing the roll out of a proper, fully comprehensive airport testing scheme.”