With effect from Autumn 2017, non-EU travellers will no longer be required to fill out a landing card on arrival to the UK. The proposed changes were announced in August and included a short consultation period with carriers, ports and people who use the statistics gathered through landing cards. The changes are expected to affect over 16 million passengers every year.
Landing cards have been used to collect basic information about travellers since 1971, and cost around £3.6 million every year. The Border Force are looking to replace the paper-based system with a new digital one as part of their ongoing move to digital border controls.
Under the new system passengers from outside the UK will go through the same checks, including those against security and immigration watch lists. Passengers will no longer need to fill out cards on board flights or at airports, and it is hoped the changes will lead to reduced wait times at immigration with the use of e-gates. The Border Force has also increased the use of Advance Passenger Information, with systems in place to receive data on every scheduled flight in and out of the UK.