Facial recognition gates trialled at Stansted Airport

FACIAL recognition gates are being trialled at Stansted Airport in a bid to cut queues and improve border security. New machines, which scan passengers faces and check them against their passport photo, have recently been installed at the Essex hub.The

FACIAL recognition gates are being trialled at Stansted Airport in a bid to cut queues and improve border security.

New machines, which scan passengers' faces and check them against their passport photo, have recently been installed at the Essex hub.

The gates can be used by any British or European passenger who has a new e-passport with an electronic chip.

Assistant Director for the UK Border Agency at Stansted Airport, Barry McGill, said:


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"My message to passengers travelling through Stansted is simple. If you hold one of the new biometric passports, please take advantage of these gates and help to reduce the time you spend at passport control.

"By using new technology we are helping make our border even more secure, making the UK safer, speeding up travel for passengers and improving our service to the public."

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Similar technology will be extended to ten UK terminals by August 2009, as pledged by the Home Secretary at the beginning of the year.

The trial at Stansted is being run in partnership between the UK Border Agency and airport operator BAA.

Stansted Airport's Head of Terminal, Neale Jouques, said: "Here at Stansted, we have invested heavily in the arrivals experience for our passengers. In addition to the �50 million extension to the arrivals hall and increase to the number of desks available to UK Border Agency, we have been delighted to install these new automated machines."

The facial recognition gates work by using scanners to compare the faces of passengers to their biometric passports.

The system measures points on a person's face and compares them with the digital passport photograph. People who have changed their appearance since their passport pictures were taken will not pose problems, because the system will still be able to compare them accurately.

UK Border Agency officers continue to oversee the gates and intervene if they have any suspicions about any passengers. Passengers will also be subject to random manual checks.

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