Facial recognition technology at London Heathrow airport


UK Immigrants is working out modalities to fix facial recognition technology at London's Heathrow airport for the Olympics. UK Border Agency (UKBA) initially intended to set up facial recognition technology in all five of its terminals at time for the Olympics. But there have been numerous holdups in acquiring the system up and running.

The e-gate technology is conceived to permit registered non-EU passengers faster entry to the UK through the use of automated self-service immigration points at certain airports. The system uses facial recognition technology to compare a person's face to the photograph recorded on the chip in their passport.

Last July, UKBA got sanction to install e-gates facial recognition technology at Heathrow airport that allowed registered non-EU nationals to use electronic self-service immigration controls.

However, Heathrow officials have said that the roll out was being held up while UK immigration completed an investigation into last year's unauthorized relaxation of immigration checks.

Spokeswoman for BAA the company that owns London Heathrow airport said that they have installed new mechanised immigration clearance gates at all Heathrow terminals to improve line up times for passengers.

The spokeswoman added that UKBA was accountable for border security and has been working to bring these new gates online. But the agency had stopped this process while it completed internal investigations.

The ongoing inquiry into the relaxed border checks has taken up a lot of time and resources at UKBA. Therefore the agency has not had sufficient time to finish building their security database of travellers that have registered to use the system.

A spokesman for UKBA said their responsibility was to protect the border at all times and they would make sure sufficient resources and technology was put in place to meet the extra demand during the Olympics period.




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