Cardiff has become the fourth UK airport to adopt the innovative e-Border system, behind London Stansted, Manchester and Bristol.
The system remains voluntary, but the UK Border Agency (UKBA) hopes to furnish a further four airports with the technology over the coming months: namely, Birmingham, Gatwick North, East Midlands and London Luton.
Unique gates, incorporating facial recognition software and automated border controls, form the bulk of the e-Border technology, allowing travellers to bypass security officials completely. The system makes use of the biometric chip embedded in 17m UK passports.
Russell Clements, acting director at Cardiff Airport, was optimistic about the future of biometric screening, “The uptake of use since the launch has been positive with business travellers in particular opting for the more convenient e-passport gate option."
E-Border correlates your facial data with the photograph held on the UKBA database, the same alien creature that lives on your passport’s final page.
New airport security measures have consumed more than £1.2bn over the past year, highlighting a growing need for DIY passport controls.
The installation of a human X-ray machine (better known as the ‘naked scanner’) at Manchester Airport was heralded as an important step forward by proponents, but did little to quell concerns about privacy and traveller modesty.
Fingerprint visas and a liquid scanner, capable of detecting hazardous substances such as nitro-glycerine, a liquid explosive, have also made their debuts at UK airports over the past few months.
Unfortunately, a rise in automated security is making the human race redundant, in more ways than one.
Online check-in services, favoured by the likes of Easyjet and Ryanair, have done for jobs what Margaret Thatcher did for coalmines, and hundreds of airport careers are being lost, never to return again.