Fifteen new ePassport gates have been officially opened at Stansted Airport by the Immigration and Security Minister, James Brokenshire. They replace the five first generation gates which were previously in use at the airport and triple the number of ePassport gates at Stansted, providing travellers with more opportunity to use the automated, secure route through our border.
The new ePassport gates provide EEA nationals, aged 18 and over and who are travelling using a biometric passport, the choice of an automated route through the UK border. The gates use facial recognition technology to provide identity and security checks in a matter of seconds. Once these are completed the gate opens automatically to allow cleared passengers through the border. Border Force officers monitor the system and any travellers rejected by the gates are directed to the normal clearance desk.
Commenting, James said:
"Keeping the UK’s border secure is our priority. At the same time we want to welcome legitimate visitors and trade which contributes to the UK economy. Using the latest technology helps us to do both and is popular with passengers. The ePassport gates here at Stansted airport provide both a fast and convenient way for tourists, business visitors and Briton’s returning home to pass through the border securely.”
The ePassport gates have been jointly funded by the Home Office and Manchester Airport Group, the owners of Stansted.
There are currently 109 ePassport gates in use at 18 airport terminals across the UK. The rollout will continue for the next two years, replacing and expanding existing sites and installing at new sites, including rail and sea ports. They have proved popular with passengers, with more using ePassport gates in the UK than any other country in the world. Currently, more than 1 million passengers use the gates every month, which increased to 1.4million passengers over the summer months.