Theresa May could be forced to relax the rules concerning border checks at UK airports after queues at Heathrow continue to grow. If the Home Secretary does decide to implement risk based controls it will be embarrassing as she was the one who forced former UK Border Force chief Brodie Clark out of his job last year for doing the same thing in an effort to reduce the time it takes for passengers to get through immigration.
Recently published figures show that passengers are currently being forced to wait for up to three hours to get through London’s busiest airport.
Head of the British Air Transport Association, Simon Buck, has met with the Home Secretary to discuss the situation on behalf of major carriers including Virgin Atlantic, easyJet and British Airways. The airlines are particularly concerned that the situation is deteriorating as the Olympic Games approach.
Mr Buck said that the government was looking at ways of tackling the problem with technology and risk based assessments of passengers flying into the UK. He added that the airlines were interested in being involved in any solutions being proposed.
Heathrow’s operator BAA has released figures which show that delays are even worse than immigration minister Damian Green has been admitting to Parliament. He said that it was taking 90 minutes at most to pass through the airport. BAA said the figure was closer to three hours in Terminal 4.