Airports: Passport Queues

House of Lords written question – answered on 24th January 2008.

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Photo of Earl Attlee Earl Attlee Conservative

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Further to the Written Answer by Lord West of Spithead on 9 January (WA 199), whether a passport control queuing time of 25 minutes for European Economic Area air passengers is an appropriate benchmark; and

Further to the Written Answer by Lord West of Spithead on 9 January (WA 199), whether a passport control queuing time of 45 minutes for non- European Economic Area air passengers is an appropriate benchmark; and

Further to the Written Answer by Lord West of Spithead on 9 January (WA 199), whether it is appropriate for airports to use a different passport control queuing time benchmark for European Economic Area (EEA) and non-EEA air passengers.

Photo of Lord West of Spithead Lord West of Spithead Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Security and Counter-terrorism), Home Office, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office) (Security and Counter-terrorism)

The current benchmarks are national standards against which all of our ports and airports can measure performance.

EEA nationals are subject to identity and nationality checks on arrival, in addition to checks against watchlists. Non EEA nationals who require leave to enter are also subject to the same checks, and are also subjected to eligibility interviews and documentation examination. These different requirements on entry result in different transaction times and, depending on the circumstances, can lead to different waiting times. The current standards reflect this.

The Border and Immigration Agency is working with the Department for Transport to implement an action plan (as published in November 2008) which will set new standards for the processing of passengers on arrival for implementation over the course of 2008.

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