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Night Flights (Immigration/Customs Control)

Volume 405: debated on Monday 19 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to increase the monitoring of night time passenger arrivals at UK airports in respect of (a) immigration control and (b)customs. [113525]

Immigration controls at all major UK airports are already staffed 24 hours a day. Local managers monitor flight schedules on a regular basis and adjust staffing rotas to ensure adequate coverage at all times.

The Immigration Service is notified of all passengers who are subject to immigration control arriving on flights at small airports not permanently staffed by immigration officers. Such passengers are examined in accordance with the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999.

Nowadays the vast majority of Customs work is intelligence led and officers are deployed to meet the highest risk flights arriving or departing at any particular time to meet the Government's law enforcement priorities. Staffing levels throughout the day are commensurate with the assessed risk posed by the arriving or departing flights.