Passengers will not need to present their passports when arriving at the UK border in the future.
Airports plan to install smart eGates equipped with advanced facial recognition as early as this year, meaning that passengers will be admitted to the UK simply by looking into a camera. Similar technology is already deployed in locations such as Dubai and Australia.
Phil Douglas, the director-general of Border Force, told The Times that he wants to create an “intelligent border” with “much more frictionless facial recognition than we currently do”.
Trials of this new technology will be followed by the “launch of a full procurement process for new gates”, according to the newspaper.
There are currently over 270 eGates in place across 15 rail and airports in the UK which will require upgrading to the new technology. These can be used by passengers over the age of 10 who are British citizens or nationals of an EU country, Australia, Canada, Iceland, Japan, Liechtenstein, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland and the US.
This news comes after the European Union announced that British travellers will be required to scan their fingerprints and have their image captured when entering the European Union next autumn.