Heathrow Aiport to Open Passport Fast Lanes for ‘Low-Risk’ Travellers

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With the London Olympics on the horizon, and the mass influx of tourists expected, Heathrow Airport is set to open special passport lanes for ‘low-risk’ travelers (such as American and Australian citizens).

The UK Border Agency has been trialling a new system whereby visitors who don’t require a visa to enter the UK may pass through passport control more easily.

According to Martin Beckford, Home Affairs Editor of Telegraph.co.uk, “Heathrow’s target is to get 95 per cent of European passengers through passport checks within 25 minutes and non-Europeans in 45.”

It seems the new system is much-needed, as in April this year the airport was reportedly at “breaking point”, “with with passengers storming past officials without showing their documents in protest at two-hour waits in arrival halls”.

According to a report by John Vine, the independent chief inspector of borders and immigration, it seems that these major delays were partly due to recent job cuts as well as staff going home during busy hours.

Heathrow Airport

On the ‘fast lanes’ Beckford says “the Border Agency is opening separate lanes for non-European passengers who are deemed “low-risk” and do not normally need visas. These include large numbers of visitors from the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Japan.”

Whether this will be enough to meet the demands of the coming Olympics or not remains to be seen.

Do you think this system will work? Would you object to being labelled ‘high risk’ (by the fact that you’re not labelled ‘low risk’)?

Source: Telegraph.co.uk


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