Border force triples number of electronic passport gates at Stansted

Posted: 8 October 2014 | Home Office | No comments yet

Border Force has tripled the number of ePassport gates at Stansted Airport, providing travellers with more opportunity to use the automated, fast and secure route through the border…

Border Force has tripled the number of ePassport gates at Stansted Airport, providing travellers with more opportunity to use the automated, fast and secure route through the border.

The 15 new ePassport gates were officially opened today by Immigration and Security Minister James Brokenshire.  They replace the five first generation gates which were previously in use at the Airport

ePassport gates at Stansted Airport speech

L-R James Brokenshire, Andrew Harrison, Stansted Airport’s Managing Director, and Phillip Holliday, Regional Director for Border Force

The new ePassport gates provide EEA nationals, aged 18 and over 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.

Increasing the use of eGates at Stansted shows Border Force’s commitment to work with airports to improve the experience for passengers.

James Brokenshire 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 Britons 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 Airport.

Andrew Harrison, Stansted Airport’s Managing Director, said:

“We are  investing £260 million over the next five years to transform passenger services and facilities at the airport. 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 and Ian Stamatakis-Brown, the company’s UK Country Manager, said:

“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”

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 use the gates every month, which increased to 1.4m passengers over the summer months.

Airport staff are available to assist passengers using the new ePassport gates, while those without electronic passports and those from outside the EU will be able to process through manual desks as normal.

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