LONDON — British lawmakers are questioning the ability of Heathrow International, Europe's busiest airport, to cope with the huge number of arrivals during the Summer Olympics, July 27 to Aug. 12.
The House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport committee is warning that long lines at immigration could force planes to sit on runways or circle the airport.
"We understand that significant preparations have been made to accommodate unusual sporting equipment, special lanes for the Olympic family, welcoming arrangements for competitors and additional Olympic ambassadors," committee chairman John Whittingdale said.
"However, far less thought seems to have been given to the issue of how to deal with long queues at immigration."
Whittingdale said those lines could push terminals over capacity, forcing planes to circle in the air, sit on runways or block gates if they can't unload their passengers.
Last year, even without the crush of the Olympics, Britain's former border chief relaxed some passport checks during the busy summer tourist season just to handle the demand.