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Last Updated: Thursday, 13 April 2006, 10:43 GMT 11:43 UK
Airport scanners speed up entry
Iris reader
Passengers can register for the service at the departure lounge
Eye-scanning technology is being used at Manchester Airport to speed up entry to the UK for frequent flyers.

UK and non-EU citizens can register for the system to skip passport checks and the need to see an immigration officer at terminal one.

Volunteers have their iris scanned for storage in a database along with their passport details, allowing them to use an automated booth upon arrival.

Project Iris is already operating at London Heathrow.

Home Office Minister Andy Burnham said: "For the first time frequent travellers and non-EU citizens will be able to enter the country via Manchester Airport quickly and securely by using Iris technology.

"With over 97 million people entering the UK in 2005, it is important that the UK remains at the forefront of the latest technology in immigration controls and the government's commitment to project IRIS demonstrates that.

Pilot project

"Secure and effective border controls are vital to safeguard our citizens against terrorism, serious and organised crime and illegal immigration, while at the same time facilitating entry for legitimate travellers."

The biometric technology works by photographing a passenger's iris patterns and matching them to their passport details.

It means registered travellers can walk up to an automated barrier, look into a camera and walk through into the arrivals hall.

Project Iris is also due to be installed at Gatwick North and South, Stansted and Birmingham by the end of 2006.

A pilot project at Heathrow last summer was temporarily shut down after the London bomb attacks in July.

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