Edinburgh Airport to cut queues with ePassport gates

Posted: March 29, 2012 in Aviation & Airports (General News), Edinburgh Airport
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Jim O'Sullivan: The gates will significantly reduce queuing times. Picture: Phil Wilkinson

Jim O'Sullivan: The gates will significantly reduce queuing times. Picture: Phil Wilkinson

ELECTRONIC security gates to cut passport queues by half are to be introduced at Scotland’s busiest airport, The Scotsman has learned.

The move by Edinburgh airport and the UK Border Agency will see the automatic equipment used for the first time at a Scottish airport to increase the speed with which passengers clear immigration.

The five gates will be installed in two weeks’ time as part of a package of measures to reduce delays and congestion at the airport, which handles 9.3 million passengers a year. The passenger total is growing at nearly 8 per cent a year, with last August the airport’s busiest month since civilian flights started in 1947.

An extra two X-ray machines will be added to the hand-baggage search area in May, while airline check-in desks have been moved around to make the best use of space.

UK and other European Union passengers will be able to use the “ePassport” gates rather than the traditional manual check by officials.

They will insert their passports in the machines to allow an electronic chip containing details of facial dimensions – scanned from their passport photo – to be compared to an image of their face transmitted from a camera on the gate. The new gates will help ease specific crunch points, such as late on Thursday evenings when five flights arrive within 30 minutes and only three staffed gates are in operation.

The UK Border Agency operates up to eight staffed passport gates at the airport. The new gates are in use at several major English airports, including Heathrow.

The additional X-ray machines at Edinburgh, to be operational in late May, will boost the total to 12.

Managing director Jim O’Sullivan said: “At peak times, the gates will significantly reduce queuing times, and even halve them. Everybody travelling through here should have a better time of it.

Read the whole feature here…….


By ALASTAIR DALTON
Published on Wednesday 28 March 2012 by Scotsman.com


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