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Heathrow tests biometrics

POSTED: 7:39 a.m. EST, December 6, 2006
LONDON, England (CNN) -- A system using fingerprint scanning and face recognition systems, designed to speed up passenger transit times and increase security, is beginning a trial at Heathrow airport's Terminal 3.
The voluntary scheme, called miSense, will be run for a year. First to test the system are passengers traveling from the London hub to Dubai and Hong Kong on Cathay Pacific and Emirates airlines.
UK Home Office Minister Liam Byrne said such technology would be "crucial" in helping Britain to secure its borders "in a more mobile age."
It is hoped that passengers will benefit from fast-track security checks and immigration procedures.
Participation in the scheme is free and enrolment only takes a few minutes at the two dedicated miSense check-in kiosks set up in the terminal for both Cathay Pacific and Emirates passengers.
Participating passengers are asked to scan their passport photo page and have a print taken of their index finger. The information is stored by UK immigration services.
After then checking in as normal at the same kiosk, passengers can pass through a miSense automatic security gate by placing their finger on a scanner and inserting their boarding card into the reader.