Newcastle International Airport has unveiled the progress on its new international arrival hall, which is on course to open ahead of the summer this year.
The multi-million-pound investment in collaboration with UK Border Force, which will enhance the customer experience, sees the arrivals hall significantly expanded and improved and includes five brand new ePassport gates.
The self-service machines use facial recognition technology to verify the user’s identity against data stored in the chip in their biometric passport.
The new ePassport gates will be available to use for all those aged 12 or above holding UK, EEA and Swiss passports.
The extension to the passenger terminal will house 448 sqm of additional floor space for the immigration area, as well as 110 sqm of space at the departure gates, and has been constructed around normal day-to-day operations by County Durham-based firm, Esh Group.
Richard Knight, director of operations at Newcastle International Airport, said: “I’m delighted with how well work is progressing on our improved and expanded arrivals hall and can’t wait to unveil the space, as well as the brand new ePassport gates, to our customers.
“At Newcastle, we pride ourselves on our low queue times across the airport and with passenger numbers through the terminal increasing, this expansion will play a big role in ensuring we can help passengers head home following a wonderful trip or experience all that the North East has to offer as a visitor as speedily as possible.”
Work on the expansion began last year and is expected to finish in the spring, with the new arrivals hall and ePassport gates being completed in June 2018.
Christina Brown, Border Force assistant director for Newcastle International Airport, said: “Increasing the use of digital technology at the border is part of Border Force’s commitment to improve the passenger experience.
“We must protect our borders, but we also want to encourage people who boost our economy through tourism and business to travel to the UK.
“This means ensuring their arrival in the UK is dealt with as swiftly and efficiently as possible while maintaining the integrity and security of the UK’s border.”