15 new automated border control egates have been opened at London Stansted.
The ABC egates were opened by immigration and security minister James Brokenshire. They replace five first generation gates, which were previously in use at the airport.
The new ePassport gates provide EEA nationals, aged 18 and over who are travelling using a biometric passport.
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 passengers rejected by the gates are directed to the normal clearance desk.
“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,” says Mr Brokenshire. “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 Britons returning home to pass through the border securely.”
The ABC egates have been jointly funded by the Home Office and Manchester Airport Group, the owners of Stansted Airport.
“We are investing £260 million over the next five years to transform passenger services and facilities at the airport,” says Andrew Harrison, Stansted Airport’s managing director. “Working in partnership with Border Force we’re delighted to open the initial phase of a new and improved immigration area that includes 15 new generation ePassport gates to help speed travellers safely and securely through the arrival process.”
The gates have been developed by Vision-Box.
“Vision-Box’s eGates ensure a reliable automated passenger identification process, while helping airports strive towards improved passenger satisfaction by speeding up control processes and reducing queuing times in immigration halls,” says Ian Stamatakis-Brown, the company’s UK Country Manager. “The process is simple, hassle-free and an enjoyable technological experience.”