The 25,000 VIPs, including athletes, coaches and officials, arriving for the summer Olympics in London through Heathrow International Airport will have a dedicated passport lane just for them when passing through immigration, according to a Daily Mail article.
The UK Border Agency, however, is worried what the dedicated traffic lane will mean for non-VIP travelers coming from areas outside the European Union who already deal with up to two-hour waits at immigration during peak travel times.
The VIPs moving through immigration will have the option to register their information, which includes fingerprints and a photograph, prior to entering the UK. If they should decide to not register ahead of time, however, a border agent will have to collect their information upon entry to be able to check the traveler against watch-lists of terrorists and criminals.
Despite the creation of the dedicated lanes, UK Border Agency documents point to a fear of non-VIP passengers being unduly delayed due to extra border agents being pulled to assist back-ups in the VIP lane.
Officials from Heathrow International Airport acknowledge that dealing with the unusually high numbers of travelers in conjunction with strange baggage items such as canoes and vault poles in an environment where security is a top priority will present a great challenge. Nevertheless officials maintain that the entire airport is up to the task and sees the challenge as more of an opportunity.
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