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Comment on announcement of immigration queuing targets at Heathrow

BAA and the Home Office have today announced a joint initiative to reduce queuing times at Heathrow airport.

Baroness Jo Valentine, Chief Executive of business organisation London First, said:

“We have long called for shorter immigration queues: sensible targets are a welcome first step. Today’s announcement, coupled with the transformation at Terminal Five, takes some of the hassle out of Heathrow for passengers. Government focus is finally shifting to improving Heathrow in the short term – that is, fewer flight delays, shorter queues and reformed economic regulation that puts the passenger first.”

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Note to Editors

BAA and the Home Office today announced a joint initiative to reduce queuing time targets at Heathrow airport Immigration. UK and EU passengers will have a maximum waiting time of 15 minutes. The target for Non-European Union members will be 30 minutes.

London First’s report, Imagine a World Class Heathrow, published in June, identified key symptoms of ‘Heathrow Hassle’ and suggested potential short term solutions. Three key recommendations were made:

1. Cut the queues: give responsibility for reducing excessive and uncertain waiting times to one organisation
2. Bring substandard terminal ‘fabric’ back to up scratch: incentivise day-to-day maintenance to keep facilities in good working order
3. Reduce flight delays: re-introduce some breathing space, either by increasing Heathrow’s capacity without increasing usage, or by permitting fewer flights

Download the executive summary here

London First is a business membership organisation whose mission is to make London the best city in the world in which to do business. London First mobilises the experience, expertise and enthusiasm of the private sector to develop practical solutions to the challenges facing London. London First also seeks to persuade central and London government to make the investments that London needs in its infrastructure.

London First delivers its activities with the support of the capital’s major businesses in key sectors such as finance, professional services, property, ICT, creative industries, hospitality and retail. Membership also includes all of London’s higher education institutions as well as further education colleges and NHS hospital trusts. London First members represent 26% of London’s GDP.

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