Home Affairs Select Committee Report on ‘Work of the Border Force’: BATA Reaction

July 26th, 2012

BATA’s reaction to today’s publication of the report by the Home Affairs Select Committee on the work of the Border Force.

BATA Comment on Home Affairs Select Committee Report ‘The Work of the Border Force’

Commenting on the findings of the Home Affairs Select Committee Report on the work of the Border Force, Simon Buck, Chief Executive of the British Air Transport Association (BATA), said:

“Robust border controls are essential for the safety and security of the State and its citizens. BATA members have supported the Home Office and UK Border Agency in this objective for many years, investing millions in a wide range of initiatives to “export the border” such as the e-borders programme which harnesses technology to deliver advance passenger information (APIS) to the control authorities. In so doing, this provides for more efficient and speedier throughput of legitimate travellers through UK border controls while maintaining border security.

“However, existing targets for average delays set by Border Force of 25 minutes for clearing European Economic Area (EEA) passengers and 45 minutes for non-EEA passengers are not demanding enough. Airlines want to see target average delays replaced by target maximum delays and see times brought down. It is essential that airlines are part of that discussion and we made this offer to the Home Secretary earlier this year.

BATA airlines have offered to work with Border Force to maintain the integrity of the border while taking a balanced approach, involving the greater use of technology as an aid to the screening of passengers prior to arrival at the border control point. We look forward to taking this work forward in collaboration.”