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Immigration Minister opens refurbished arrivals area at Bristol Airport

Created: 23rd Jun 2017

Bristol Airport’s newly expanded immigration hall, which includes 10 of the latest ePassport gates, was officially opened today (Thursday 22 June) by the Immigration Minister, Brandon Lewis.

The 10 new ePassport gates, which provide an automated, fast and secure route through the border, replace the three first-generation gates which were previously in use at the airport. 
 
As well as introducing the new gates, the enlarged accommodation has been redesigned to provide Border Force officers with a clearer view of passengers entering the Immigration Hall. 
 
Further Border Force improvements at Bristol include increasing the number of interview rooms from 2 to 4 and the installation of a new drug testing lab. 
 
Brandon Lewis, Minister for Immigration said: 
 "Keeping the UK's border secure is our priority. At the same time we want to welcome visitors, tourists, and businesspeople who can contribute to the UK economy. 
 
"Providing the latest technology and improved facilities helps us to do both and is popular with passengers. 
 
“This refurbishment is an excellent example of how effectively Border Force works with airport operators to provide an efficient and secure service for tourists, business visitors and Britons returning home.” 
 
Robert Sinclair, Chief Executive Officer at Bristol Airport, said: 
“We were delighted to welcome the Minister to Bristol Airport to see the newly extended immigration area which is the result of our strong partnership with Border Force. Immigration officers do a great job in keeping the border safe and secure while providing passengers with a friendly and efficient welcome on arrival in the UK. This new facility will help them carry out this vital work in a modern, professional environment with support from the latest available technology.” 

The £2.3 million project has been jointly funded by the Government and Bristol Airport. 

Automated technology, such as ePassport gates, gives Border Force the ability to process a higher number of low risk passengers more quickly and using fewer resources. This allows Border Force officers to focus on other priority work such as cracking down on the smuggling of contraband goods and identifying potential victims of trafficking. 
 

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