Non EU passengers are required to show their passports, although it is not entirely clear what purpose that accomplishes. The line for doing so took about half an hour to get through. My rough estimate, based on two different calculations (one from the number of people in the line, one from the rate at which they were being processed), was that the line used up about fifty person hours per hour. Assuming that’s the average for twenty hours or so a day, it comes to a thousand person hours a day. Valuing the average traveler’s time at ten dollars an hour, that is ten thousand dollars a day worth of waiting time. To be fair, many of those people, including us, have checked luggage, so some of the time would be spent waiting for luggage if it was not spent waiting to have someone glance at their passports, so call it five thousand dollars a day of wasted time. The airport functions 365 days a year, so upwards of a million and a half dollars a year.
Eliminating that waste would not require more person hours of checking, since in any case they have to check everyone’s passport. It would require the airport to put more people on at busy times, fewer when not many passengers are coming through. I find it hard to believe that the cost of such an arrangement would come to anything close to the value of the time saved.
.. decisions on running the airport are being made by people who put very little value on either the time or the money of the airport’s customers.