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COVID-19: Checks on passenger tracking forms “must be automated” to avoid long lines at airports | UK News

UK airports are warning of delays for arriving passengers as they lack the technology to handle COVID-19 forms.

Before the country’s “traffic light” system opens air travel this week, the industry says manual checks of passenger tracking forms risk creating “unacceptable” queues at the border.

Airport managers have appealed to the government to make digital technology speed up the process.

The PLF is a form that includes a passenger COVID test history and where they will be staying in the UK. It can be completed online but must be verified on arrival, manually, by UK border staff.

London Heathrow and Edinburgh Airport have both warned of passenger bottlenecks and said the UK government needs to digitize the PLF to make it readable by automated and unmanned ‘electronic gates’ , who already read passports without staff being inspected.

Gordon Dewar, managing director of Edinburgh Airport, told Sky News that 70% of international arrivals in the city are typically handled through ‘electronic gates’, but the PLF is currently in need of screening manual by UK border staff, which will increase passenger processing time. .

“A typical European arrival would be a 20 to 30 second ‘transaction’, in which there is nothing complicated other than a passport scan and which is verified against the database.

“But now we have passenger tracking forms – and we’re not questioning that, they’re reasonable – but relying on a people system will only add a lot of time. Each transaction will take three or four times as long. . “

“Obviously that’s not good for the customer experience and it’s actually worrying enough that we can distance ourselves socially and make sure people are as safe as possible. If we could find a digital version , we could minimize the queues. “

A spokesperson for Heathrow Airport said: “In order to ensure that passengers are not left in the queue for unacceptable periods of time on arrival, …

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This notice was published: 2021-05-15 22:55:00