The UK Border Force has failed to meet the 45-minute target processing time for most passengers from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) at Heathrow airport, London, in April, according to airport operator BAA.
The figures reveal that the passengers at the airport's Terminal 4 had to queue for around three hours on 30 April, which is claimed to be twice as long as the UK Government previously stated.
UK immigration minister Damian Green was cited by the BBC as saying that there had been some breaches of acceptable waiting times, which were mainly caused by severe weather disrupting flights.
"The UK Border Force would ensure all immigration desks were fully staffed during summer peak times," Green said.
According to the statistics, on average, the Border Force had failed to meet its target for clearing non-EEA passport holders through immigration at all the terminals of the airport, however, it had successfully met its 25-minute target for most EEA and Swiss arrivals during the period.
Terminal 1 had missed its 45-minute target for non-EEA travellers for 12 days during April, while Terminal 3 and 4 had missed the target on 21 days, and Terminal 5 on 23 days.
Heathrow's other long queues during April included arrivals, which were waiting for two hours and 35 minutes on 17 April at Terminal 5, as well as Terminal 3 passengers waiting for two hours and 20 minutes on 25 April.
BAA reports that the longest wait at Terminal 1 was one hour and 15 minutes on 12 April.
For managing the passengers during the Olympic period beginning 27 July, for which Heathrow will be the main gateway, Border Force will employ an extra 480 staff.
Image: Passengers at Heathrow's Terminal 4 had to queue for about three hours on 30 April. Photo: courtesy of Warren Rohner.