Under plans announced this week by Britain's Treasury chief, travelers arriving from the U.S., Canada, Austrialia, New Zealand and Japan will be able to use the self-service 'e-passport' gates at British airports, speeding up entry.
The program allows passengers with the e-passport symbol, above, to scan their passports, smile at the camera and walk through the border gate—if their faces match the on-line image connected to the passport picture. Up to now, only holders of UK and EU passports have been able to use the gates.
The new invitees will be able to use the system starting by this summer, possibly as early as March. The UK already has 259 of the special gates in use at 14 airports, and is planning to add more, as well as more manned lanes, to deal with long lines on arrival.