London's Stansted Airport in the United Kingdom has begun testing security gates with facial recognition software as the first part of an eventual roll out of the new security gates to 10 more airports by August 2009.
The facial recognition gates work by using scanners to compare the faces of passengers to their biometric passports.
The system measures points on a person's face and compares them with the digital passport photograph. People who have changed their appearance since their passport pictures were taken will not pose problems, because the system will still be able to compare them accurately.
UK Border Agency officers continue to oversee the gates and intervene if they have any suspicions about any passengers. Passengers will also be subject to random manual checks.
The new security gates can be used by any British or European traveler who has a new e-passport with an electronic chip. The government and the airport believe the new gates will not only bolster security but also increase the speed of security lanes.