Immigration Controls: Airports

Home Office written question – answered on 18th May 2022.

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Photo of Bell Ribeiro-Addy Bell Ribeiro-Addy Labour, Streatham

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment her Department has made of the impact of IT issues on the efficiency of eGates in UK airports.

Photo of Kevin Foster Kevin Foster The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department

From late September through to mid-November we saw a series of short interruptions of service for the Border Crossing system and eGates. These had a variety of root causes, and a contributory factor was the need to expedite the roll-out of the new gates, which incorporated checking the Passenger Locator Form as part of reopening the UK’s border - this compression of timescales, meant we experienced more problems than in previous upgrades.

We have since taken a series of actions to review and address the cause of these issues and have increased monitoring to identify system pressures early to avoid interruptions to service - this has been reflected in a reduction of service interruptions.

Border Force works closely with technology partners to minimise the impact of service interruptions and have a series of operational mitigations to manage the impact on passenger flows, whilst ensuring border security is maintained at all times.

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