UK Liberty

New passport controls double processing time

Posted in ID Cards by ukliberty on June 20, 2007

The Telegraph:

Holidaymakers were warned yesterday to expect summer holiday travel chaos as the first signs emerged that the Government’s new border controls are causing significant delays at airports.

Under the previous immigration system, officials simply swiped passports through a scanner which read a series of encoded letters and numbers.

Now they have to use equipment designed for the new generation of biometric passports with security holograms and computer-embedded data introduced to make forgeries more difficult.

Older documents are still swiped as they were before, but in some cases additional information is tapped into a computer to further verify the identity of the passengers.

“It used to take between three to four seconds to process a passenger,” said Mr Tincey. “Now you are looking at eight to 10 seconds, so it has more than doubled.

A BIA spokesman said: “The number of border control staff is at an all time high.

“While allowing most passengers into the UK quickly, thorough checks are necessary to turn away criminals, prevent illegal immigration and protect the public. We make no apology. New biometric technology is being rolled out so trusted travellers can pass through border control more quickly.”

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