Immigration queue targets missed
The under-fire Border Force failed to reach some of its immigration queue targets at Heathrow airport last month, figures from airport operator BAA have shown.
The Border Force is instructed to get non-EU passport holders through immigration at Heathrow within 45 minutes for 95% of the time.
But it failed to meet that target at three of the four terminals in June at the west London airport which this month will handle thousands of extra Olympics-related passengers.
However the EU passport holder target, in which queues must be no longer than 25 minutes for 95% of the time, was reached at all four terminals. The worst-performing area at Heathrow last month was Terminal 4 (T4) where passengers reported queues of up to two-and-a-half hours on Friday June 30.
BAA said the Border Force only reached a 90.0% figure for non-EU passport holders at T4 last month - 5% below the target figure. The 95% non-EU target was also not reached at T5 (91.5%), nor at T3 (92.8%) but was reached at T1 (99.3%).
A BAA spokeswoman said: "Long immigration queues are unacceptable. Passengers arriving at Heathrow deserve a good experience and a great welcome."
Concerns about the immigration queues at Heathrow were first raised in April this year, when long lines built up. Those stuck in queues at T4 last month took pictures of empty immigration-sorting desks.
BAA has said that the Border Force - part of the Home Office - has promised that from July 15 all Border Force desks at Heathrow will be open during peak arrival periods.
A Border Force spokesman said: "The vast majority of passengers pass through immigration control quickly, as shown by the fact that we hit all of our targets for EU passengers and for over 90% of non-EU passengers.
"There is always room for improvement, which is why we deploy additional staff at peak times. We will not compromise border security but are working with airlines to keep delays to a minimum, particularly ahead of the busy Olympic period."