Edinburgh Airport Considers Fast-Track Charge Lane
1 September 2016, 18:31
Passengers arriving at Edinburgh Airport could soon skip queues at passport control by paying a £5 charge.
Plans to ease congestion at arrivals would see passengers offered the use of a fast-track service, similar to that in operation at check-in desks and security control.
The airport, which is Scotland's busiest, said the measure is being considered along with UK Border Force - which manages passport control areas - with similar systems in place at some other UK airports.
An exact fee has not yet been determined but it is understood to be about #5 and Edinburgh would be the first Scottish airport to offer the service.
Airport chief executive Gordon Dewar raised concerns over passport control staffing levels before the summer passenger peak.
In a letter to then Home Secretary Theresa May, he warned that queues at passport control could hit unprecedented levels following due to staffing cuts.
In July, Edinburgh reported the busiest-ever month at a Scottish airport after seeing 1,332,282 travellers through its doors - an increase of 9.6 % on the same month last year.
An airport spokesman said "This new service will offer choice to people flying into Edinburgh Airport.
"We look forward to being able to offer our overseas passengers and returning UK-based passengers an even smoother arrival into Scotland.''
The Home Office said the measure was a "common feature'' at many UK airports.
A spokeswoman said: "Border Force is working closely with Edinburgh Airport to introduce the FastTRACK passport control service which will allow business travellers and those on tight schedules to make the most of their stay with the shortest possible wait.
"From August 2015 to end of July 2016, 27.2 million passengers used e-passport gates at UK airports and FastTRACK passport control will provide passengers at Edinburgh with another choice of a quick, secure and convenient route through the UK border.
"Working with airport operators, Border Force is committed to providing an excellent service to all passengers arriving in the UK.''