Heathrow boss demands Americans be allowed to use e-gates


Americans should be allowed to jump the border queues at Heathrow by using the e-gates reserved for British and EU travellers, the airport has demanded. Heathrow’s boss said some immigration queues for non-European passengers had reached “completely unacceptable” levels and called on the Home Office to change the rules.

John Holland-Kaye, Heathrow’s chief executive, said queues were increasing, citing a recent queue of close to three hours for non-EU passengers at the airport’s Terminal 4. Allowing low-risk passengers to use e-gates was an easy solution, he said: “There’s no reason we should treat a passenger from the US any differently from one from Lithuania. We have 60 e-gates at Heathrow and you’ll never see them all in use.

“Sajid Javid [the home secretary] could tackle this at the stroke of a pen.” He said he believed Brexit would not worsen immigration queues, but should be used to change the rules: “If the Americans aren’t considered safe then no one is – they’re at least as safe as our European partners. “What better way on 30 March to show the world has changed than have Americans, Canadians and Australians use the e-gates? You know who is coming to your country, why do we need to treat everyone like a criminal when they get to the border?” Currently only travellers from the European Economic Area and Switzerland who are issued with a biometric passport can use the e-gates.(theguardian)…[+]