UKBA to recruit additional Heathrow officers

Hotel News - 17/05/2012

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The UK Border Agency has said that it will recruit staff to help provide relief amid extensive immigration queues at Heathrow.

The announcement came on Tuesday via immigration minister Damian Green, who said in a committee meeting in the House of Commons that about 70 additional border officers would be brought on. The officers were initially set to begin working at the west London gateway upon the opening of Terminal 2 in 2014, but officials said that they would be brought on sooner so that they could work during the upcoming Olympics.

Ministers said during the inquiry meeting with the Home Affairs Committee that reports have said that passengers have been forced to wait at Heathrow checkpoints for well over two hours in recent weeks. Extensive queues have also been reported at both Stansted and Gatwick airports.

Similarly, BAA and airline officials said queues had been getting gradually worse over the past few years and that passengers have become upset recently to see that some gates were unmanned during peak arrival hours.

Green said that such delays are not acceptable and that the additional staff as well as the forthcoming launch of a new Heathrow immigration control room would provide a substantial “step forward” toward tackling the problem.

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