MOTORISTS face a traffic nightmare as police put a "red alert" security blanket around this year's Farnborough International Airshow.
Every vehicle entering the show's car parks will be searched because of fears that the prestigious event could become a terrorist target. Huge traffic queues are certain to build up as police officers look in the boots, under the bonnets and inside each car.
Business chiefs arriving in their Jaguars and other top of the range cars will also be banned from entering the airfield. They will be directed to specially designated car parks and taken to the exhibition halls by a fleet of shuttle buses.
Police chiefs have decided they can take no chances following the September 11 terrorist attack on America. They have the headache of protecting royalty, heads of state and Government ministers from over 50 countries who are due to visit the seven-day show.
About 250 police officers a day will be involved in the security clampdown. The worst traffic jams are certain to occur on the opening day, July 22, when most of those involved with the exhibitions arrive to book in.
Inspector Charlie Raison, police northern division traffic chief, said on Monday: "My advice is for people, if possible, to delay their journeys to work on that day.
"I'm afraid it will be a nightmare on local roads, especially the A325 which will be the main route to the airshow."
He added that, throughout the week, visitors could be expected to receive a thorough search. "Getting into the show is bound to be slow," he said.
This will be the first show where Hampshire police, rather than the Ministry of Defence, will be responsible for security within the airfield.
Inspector Chris Brown, a member of the security planning team, said they had recently visited the Singapore air show to study security measures there.
"The trip was extremely helpful and we found that our plans are on similar lines," he said.
He said it was plain that those working at the show should complete their registration paperwork prior to their visit.
"If they do that, then they will be able to walk straight in," he said. "If they don't, then it will lead to long queues."
Two years ago, when the show was last held, the two public days attracted more than 130,000 people.
A further 170,000 trade visitors from all parts of the world also attended the event organised by the Society of British Aerospace Companies.
SBAC are confident this year's event will again live up to its reputation of being the world's premier aerospace business event.