back to article Gatwick gets iris recognition

Gatwick South has started using an iris recognition system - it is the ninth UK airport terminal to roll out the system. Project IRIS(Iris Recognition Immigration System) is designed to give travellers resident in the UK, who have no black marks against their name on the immigration database, a means of avoiding normal …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Earn money

    So now people with clean backgrounds (not caught) can have their iris scanned, this can be converted into a contact lens and will allow people wearing said lenses to walk through without having to deal with immigration.

    Biometrics can be faked, dna need a sample, the rest is a matter of simple scans and small pieces of rubber.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Carte Blanche?

    Unfortunately, iris recognition at border controls gives drug smuggers something of a carte blanche. As experienced at Schiphol (Amsterdam, the Netherlands), couriers now no longer have to buy a plane ticket that they don't intend to use, just so that they can enter the controlled area. Once inside, they can meet somebody who is transiting through the airport and pick up a package. They still have to pass customs, though.

  3. jon


    ...would they adopt an iris scanning system which the government themselves have dropped due to its unreliabilty????

  4. david

    A little bhind the curve

    I'm sure I saw this system in use at gatwick south when I returned from a business trip on 18th dec last year. It took ages as people kept having to move to get their eye in the correct place. Is this something new I am missing here??

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Carte Blanche? Faulty implementation more like...

    ... If drug couriers at Schiphol airport can use IRIS recognition to get into the controlled area, then that's a faulty implementation.

    The IRIS system in the UK only works on ARRIVING passengers, who have already travelled. In the UK you cannot enter the controlled/airside area without a boarding pass. Perhaps that bit of a failure to implement certain EU initiatives help stop such behaviour.

  6. Hrishikesh

    Not another recursive abbreviation!

    IRIS = Iris Recognition Immigration System... 'nuff said!

  7. Mike Richards Silver badge

    Certainly (sort of) working in March

    I got plenty of time to study this contraption whilst waiting in immigration in March (as usual there were two people on hand to check 700 or so people who'd just arrived in two 777s). Its a posh glass booth with sliding doors that open and close in an excitingly swoopy manner.

    During my incarceration in the concrete immigration bunker at Gatwick I saw one whole person use the iris system. He went towards it, the doors opened (in a swoopy way that was quite exciting), he mucked around inside for a while, someone came over and prodded the machine for a few minutes, checked his passport and he left.

    So apart from the need for constant human intervention and that it takes about ten times longer than being stared at by a human, this is clearly a major step forward for technology. And the swooping doors are really very exciting.

    BTW. If biometrics are so fool-proof, just why did Liam Byrne need to be enrolled twice?

  8. Andrew Dodd

    I love it

    I travel around the world alot and always look forward to coming home. You walk upto the empty queue the glass doors open look at the two dots and your away. 30 seconds. Its great your always the first to collect your bags. Never had any troubles with it.

  9. Adriaan Brink

    I also love it!

    Having used IRIS for some time now (the one at Gatwick has been there at least 6 months), I have never had a problem with it except when it has been closed or some idiot who hasn't registered tried to use it ahead of me. It is a fantastic time saver for frequent travellers and I am happy if noone else uses it (let's keep the queues small)!

    As long as the registration office is suitably hidden...

  10. Conor Williams

    I love it too....

    If you're not a Brit and therefore used to 40 minutes to over one hour waiting in line to have the same inane chat with immigration officials - then IRIS is a lifesaver. It's swoosh - walk in - look into (hopefully the right) camera - collect a little print out - swoosh - exit. You're talking 10 seconds. I recommend it to everyone!

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