Manchester Airport is trialling the new facial recognition scanners, which aim to improve security and reduce long queues at immigration checkpoints.
The device works by comparing a digital photo of a passenger inside their UK or European Union biometric passport with their face as they stand in front of a small camera. The system means passengers can avoid queues to have their passports checked by immigration officials.
The scanners check whether a passport has been tampered with and that the passenger is not on any security lists.If they pass that check, the passenger passes through to another gate where a small camera captures an image of their face.
Soon we can expect to see similar technology at Stansted Airport – and if the project proves to be successful, it will include all the British airports by the year 2010.