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NEWS Last modified on October 15, 2014

Number of ePassport gates at Stansted Airport tripled

The number of ePassport gates at Stansted Airport has tripled after Border Force installed 15 new gates.

They were opened at the UK fourth busiest gateway last week by government immigration and security minister James Brokenshire.

Each replace the five first generation gates previously in use at the airport, and 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, and 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, and increasing the use of eGates at Stansted, Border Force says shows its commitment to work with airports to improve the experience for passengers.

The ePassport gates have been jointly funded by the UK Home Office and Manchester Airport Group, the owners of Stansted, and Andrew Harrison, Stansted managing director, explains: “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 brings the total of ePassport gates in use at 18 airport terminals in the UK to 109, and the rollout will continue for the next two years, replacing and expanding existing sites and installing at new sites including rail and seaports.

Border Force says they have proved popular with passengers with more using facial recognition eGates in the UK than any other country in the world, and currently, more than one million passengers use the gates every month, which increased to 1.4 million over the summer months.

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