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- Tried & Tested
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- Tried & Tested
I flew back into Belgium yesterday afternoon from outside Schengen Area so had to go through EU immigration. Some time back the airport authorities replaced the previous generation of e-gates with new ones at a cost of €2.4 million alongside the traditional immigration counters.
When open the gates work well with fast facial recognition and are a major contribution to reducing waiting times. They are also far more efficient at spotting if the user is actually the person listed in the passport. There is however one major problem – they have been too efficient for the trade unions representing the Police who perform border guard duties in Belgium, less police are now needed and on many occasions they are sitting there doing nothing while all the passengers go through the e-gate lane.
Naturally enough the Unions were able to offer a well thought through and constructive solution, now at certain times of the day the e-gates are closed requiring everyone to join a long queue and be screened by a police officer.
Such was the case yesterday and we waited for nearly 45 minutes while three desks dealt with multiple flights.
Not only Brussels….came into Stansted last week only to find that well under 50% of the egates were functional….why have an efficient system if it is not used….sounds like Teresa May again….
No to your question Martyn, last year I flew back into LGW North from TLV and due to delay it was about 1am and the queue was outside the immigration hall and the e gates were closed and there were 3 immigration officers on duty!
When I asked the guy with a clipboard why all he could say to me was he was evaluating the queues and couldn’t comment, of course I told him politely that if the e gates were open there would be no queues to monitor!
I am afraid its Third World service at the very front door of the UK……