Non-European travellers have been required to fill out a landing card with basic information about themselves and their travel since 1971.
But under proposals published by the Home Office, the paper-based system, which costs around £3.6m a year, will be replaced as part of Border Force’s digital transformation of border controls.
Passengers arriving from outside the EU will continue to be checked against the variety of police, security and immigration watch lists which are used to verify the identity and confirm the status of every passenger arriving at UK airports.
The UK Government’s Immigration Minister Brandon Lewis said: “We are modernising border technology to ensure Border Force staff stop dealing with outdated paperwork and can continue to focus on security and protecting the public. In addition, this change will improve the experience for arriving passengers so they get an even better welcome when they land in the UK.”
The changes are in addition to the ongoing ‘Digital Services at the Border’ (DSAB) programme, which is modernising technology which is aimed at improving intelligence gathering on goods and passengers and increasing security.
Before implementing the proposed changes, the Home Office has launched a four-week consultation with carriers, ports and those that use statistics gathered from landing card data.
It is expected the changes will come into effect in the autumn.