London City Airport has installed five automated border control kiosks.
The ePassport gates give the choice of an automated route through the UK border to EEA nationals aged 18 and over who are travelling using a biometric passport.
They have been installed in the immigration hall at London City (LCY) alongside the six existing manual desks staffed by Border Force officers.
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.
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 facial recognition eGates in the UK than any other country in the world.
Currently more than 1m passengers consistently use the gates every month. This increased over the summer of 2014 with more than 1.7m passengers using the gates in September.
Darren Grover, chief operating officer at London City Airport says: “We are almost doubling the number of immigration lanes at London City so that passengers can get through as quickly as possible on arrival. On average at London City it takes just 15 minutes from disembarking your aircraft to reaching the terminal exit. We had our busiest month on record this summer but we are determined to ensure that we maintain our high level of service and outstanding passenger experience and the introduction of eGates will help us to do exactly that.”
The gates have been developed by Vision-Box. Ian Stamatakis-Brown, the company’s UK Country Manager, comments: “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. The process is simple, hassle-free and an enjoyable technological experience.”
Airport staff are available to assist passengers using the new ePassport gates, while those without ePassports and those from outside the EU will be able to process through manual desks as normal.