Following a major overhaul of the security search area for departing passengers, Bristol Airport has unveiled plans to address congestion in arrivals.

The £2.3million project will take the number of passport control points from the current ten to a total of 17 when it opens in spring next year, including ten of the latest ePassport gates which provide a safe, secure and speedy alternative to the conventional border control process.

As well as introducing new equipment, the work will enlarge the immigration hall which will be redesigned to create a more welcoming environment and streamline the border process for passengers. These improvements build on upgrades to other arrivals areas delivered as part of the current £24million west terminal extension, including enlarged meet and greet and baggage reclaim zones, and a new World Duty Free store for arriving passengers.

The new generation ePassport gates are faster, and can be used by passengers aged 12 years and over - currently the ePassport gates at Bristol Airport are limited to over-18s.

In the meantime, arriving passengers can help keep time spent at the border to a minimum by having passports open to the photograph page and removing hats and sunglasses in advance of inspection, with families encouraged to go through the border together.

A further £2.3million will be invested in a new reception centre and other improvements to the popular Silver Zone car park, often the first experience of the Airport for many passengers.

Robert Sinclair, the airport's CEO, said: "Completion of the west terminal extension will enable us to turn our attention to the immigration area, where passengers can sometimes wait longer than we would like at the busiest times. By enlarging and reconfiguring this area and introducing the latest Border Force technology we aim to make arriving at Bristol Airport as fast and efficient as possible.”

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