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Olympic athletes get VIP lanes at Heathrow

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It has been revealed that Athletes from the 2012 Olympics will have their own VIP passport lane at Heathrow Airport.

The passport lane has been introduced as part of a plan to get athletes who are competing in the Games into the country as hassle free as possible.

Biometric data such as fingerprints and photographs provided by the athletes in advance is hoped to speed up the process once they arrive at border control.

Staff working at Heathrow will be redeployed from their daily roles to get biometric data from the athletes if they haven’t already provided this.

A policy document that details all of these processes at the airport states that staff will attend to the athletes and their families as a priority.

As a result of this, non Olympic passengers who are taking their holiday this summer could face a lengthy wait.

Heathrow Airport already deals with 186,000 passengers on a daily basis and has 400 border control officials to help control the busiest airport in the country.

The athletes attending the Games will add to this prompting plans to be put into place to help minimise the chaos that may occur for athletes and non Olympic passengers.

In October it was announced Heathrow Airport will open a temporary terminal for the athletes the day after the Games have ended.

The terminal will have eight security lanes, a cargo area and to help with luggage a check in and bag drop will be created at the Olympic Village to minimise the time before departing.

It is expected that 218,000 bags will pass through the day after the Games with many athletes using equipment such as canoes and javelins.

All avenues are being looked into to ensure the 2012 Olympic Games runs as smoothly as possible with transport being an important part of the event.

New processes are already in place with special games lanes on the roads, state of the art transport equipment and the new development of the passport lane for athletes and families.

The Olympic Games is expected to attract nine million spectators over 16 days with the Paralympics bringing a further two million over 11 days. 

We recently wrote an article about the possible problems that the Olympic Games may bring to the capital regarding transport. The article was Olympic Transport.

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By Amanda Bainbridge