Government to Implement Plans to Clear Immigration Queues at Airports for Olympic Games

The UK government is planning to implement its special airport plans for the 2012 Olympics games from Sunday, July 15, 2012.

The government’s plans include the addition of around 500 extra Border Force staff at airports during the Olympics, to decrease the long queues at immigration desks, which are a source of annoyance to overseas visitors.

A government report states that 300 Border Force personnel will be joining their counterparts at London Heathrow Airport, which has suffered some of the worst queues at immigration desks in recent times. The airport authority at Heathrow will be keeping all of the immigration desks in the southeast part of the airport open during peak hours, to deal with the influx of visitors.

UK immigration minister, Damian Green, said in a statement, ‘We are not waiting for the Olympics to start. In a matter of days there will be more than 500 extra passport-trained staff ready to boost the regular numbers.

Our commitment is that every desk at Heathrow will be staffed during the busy periods.’

The Border Force is currently working with a target of clearing non-EU passengers through immigration within 45 minutes, while the target is 25 minutes for EU travellers.

The situation almost spiralled out of control in April, with travellers reporting long waits at immigration desks, and Damien Green has reported that during that period the Border Force was only meeting its targets 75 percent of the time. The minister has assured travellers that the efficiency of immigration desks has currently been streamlined to achieve the required targets almost 90 percent of the time.