Successful Trials at Major Airports Pave the Way for National Rollout
This summer, families traveling to the UK can look forward to a smoother entry process as the eGates service is being expanded to include 10 and 11-year-olds. Following successful trials at major ports like Gatwick, Stansted, and Heathrow Airports, this move aims to offer a faster and more convenient way for eligible visitors and returning families to travel through the UK border during the school summer holidays. According to a recent YouGov poll, 42% of the UK public is planning to jet abroad over the summer, making this expansion timely and beneficial for many travelers.
Anticipated Surge in Passenger Volume Spurs the eGate Expansion
With passenger, volumes expected to return to pre-pandemic levels this summer, and some ports even surpassing those numbers, the Border Force is gearing up to process over 34 million air arrivals through UK passport control in the coming months. In light of this surge, the decision to expand eGates to include 10 and 11-year-olds is a strategic move to streamline the entry process and improve efficiency for families traveling together.
A Boost for Thousands of Families
The new eGate expansion will benefit thousands of families during the summer holidays. Experts project that over 400,000 children aged 10 and 11 will utilize eGates this year, reducing waiting times and simplifying the entry process for families traveling to or from the UK.
Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick’s Statement
Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick expressed enthusiasm for the upcoming changes, stating that from Monday, July 24, 2023, families with children over the age of 10 will experience quicker entry into the UK using eGates. This nationwide rollout not only promises convenience for passengers but also strengthens the security measures at the UK border.
UK’s Leadership in Automated Border Control
The UK stands out as a global leader in the use of automated technology at its borders, processing more passengers through eGates than any other country in the world. This expansion of eGates to include 10 and 11-year-olds reaffirms the country’s commitment to staying at the forefront of technology and ensuring a seamless customer experience for travelers.
Future Innovations to Enhance Border Travel
In addition to expanding eGate capacity, the UK has plans to introduce an Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) scheme later this year and continue to expand eVisas. These initiatives are expected to further enhance the customer experience at the border, making the entry process more efficient and user-friendly.
Extending the Reach of eGates
The national rollout of eGates for 10 and 11-year-olds will be implemented across 15 air and rail ports that currently have 293 eGates. This extensive coverage aims to ensure that eligible travelers can access the benefits of this streamlined entry process at various key points of entry into the UK.
Collaborative Efforts to Ensure Smooth Travels
To guarantee a safe and hassle-free journey for all passengers this summer, the Border Force is closely collaborating with port operators and airlines. This joint effort aims to address any potential challenges and provide travelers with a positive experience as they pass through the UK border.
Miguel Leitmann, Vision Box CEO said:
Vision Box is very proud to have supplied the technology that has enabled the UK Home Office and Border Force to lead the market, in what is widely regarded as the global reference for Automated Border Control.
With more passengers using ePassport gates in the UK than in any country in the world, we have been delighted to see the passenger usage rise year-on-year over the last 10 years.
We have worked together with Border Force to facilitate the secure and seamless entry into the UK, reducing queues for more than 70 million passengers per year.
The UK’s expansion of the eGates service to include 10 and 11-year-olds is a welcome development for families and young travelers this summer.
With the anticipated surge in passenger volume, this move comes at an opportune time to ensure quicker and smoother entry into the country.
As a global leader in automated border control, the UK continues to prioritize technology and customer experience, positioning itself as a premier destination for international travelers.