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Border Force misses non-EU targets
The Border Force failed to meet its targets for getting non-EU passport holders through immigration at all Heathrow Airport terminals last month, according to figures from airport operator BAA.
But the targets were met for EU passport holders despite the long queues that built up at the west London airport at times during the month.
The figures were released on BAA's website and come after the Government admitted the Border Force needs to change the way it operates.
Under the targets, the Border Force must get non-EU passport holders through immigration at Heathrow in less than 45 minutes for 95% of the time.
The Border Force target for EU passport holders at Heathrow is less than 25 minutes for 95% of the time.
Border Force monitoring of its targets involves hourly checks, but BAA's monitoring of the April 2012 Border Force performance involved 15-minute checks.
Terminal 5 is by far the busiest terminal at Heathrow. Last year it handled more than 26 million passengers on more than 184,000 flights. The next-busiest terminal last year was Terminal 3 through which 19.4 million passengers passed on more than 104,000 flights.
Earlier this week - after passengers had spoken of two-hour waits to get through immigration at Heathrow - Immigration Minister Damian Green said 80 extra Border Force staff would start work this month. However, the Public and Commercial Services union said this was like "putting a sticking plaster on a serious injury".
The Border Force target for clearing non-EU passengers at Terminal 5 (T5) was missed on 23 out of 30 days in April. The non-EU target was missed on 21 days at Terminal 3 and at Terminal 4, and missed on 12 days at Terminal 1.
There were hour-long queues at T5 on April 10, while there were queues of two hours 35 minutes for non-EU passport holders at T5 on April 17. On April 30, there were three-hour queues at T4.