London Gatwick Airport, together with the UK Border Agency, has introduced improvements in the immigration halls that help to reduce queue times and provide a better service, including new automated ePassport gates with facial recognition technology and a dedicated lane for families.
The immigration halls now have a selection of ePassport gates that enable EU passengers with biometric passports to get through passport control much more quickly and conveniently.
The gates use facial recognition technology to compare a passengers’ face to the photograph recorded on the ‘chip’ in the passport. Once the checks are made, the gates open automatically.
Carole Upshall, UK Border Agency Director for South and Europe said, ‘‘The newly installed automated biometric ePassport gates are now in use in Gatwick’s South Terminal which will speed up the process for passengers with a UK or European Union biometric passport.
‘The UK Border Agency is committed to maximising the use of technology to maintain a secure border while handling increasing volumes of passengers and we now have e-Passport gates at both Gatwick terminals, providing passengers with a secure, self-service alternative to the conventional manual control.”
Geoff Williams, Head of Security at Gatwick Airport said: “We have also become the first UK airport to introduce lanes in the immigration halls dedicated entirely to families, and those who might need a bit of extra support. Staff who man these lanes have received extra training in customer service so that they know how to provide the right level of help.
“This has the benefit of making passengers feel more supported and it helps to reduce the length of queues across all the lanes. So, in fact, all passengers end up benefiting, not just those with children. We expect other airports will follow suit, just as they did when we introduced family lanes at security.”