Page last updated at 13:11 GMT, Tuesday, 12 May 2009 14:11 UK

Passengers test new face scanners


The scanners are being trialled at the airport

Passengers travelling to the UK via Stansted in Essex have been urged to use facial recognition gates recently installed at the airport.

The machines scan passengers' faces and compare them to the photographs digitally stored on their passports.

They are being trialled at the airport to improve border security and cut queues at arrivals.

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

The passports contain a microchip which holds the same details as the photograph page of the document.

Positive feedback

The passenger places it in a scanner while looking into a camera.

If there is a match, the automatic gates allow the traveller across the border.

More than 13 million people in the UK have been issued with a biometric passport, which contains a microchip holding biographical information and images.

The trial has been running at Stansted since December, has been used by nearly 160,000 passengers and has been extended until October.

Neale Jouques, Stansted Airport's head of terminal, said: "We have provided additional BAA staff to assist with the introduction of the new equipment and help raise awareness of the trial.

"The new facial recognition gates have been very well received by our passengers, with their feedback overwhelmingly positive.

"They provide an additional option at immigration control for those travelling with a biometric passport, help improve border security while also reducing queuing times for arriving passengers."


The scanners are being trialled at the airport

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