Wales

Cardiff Airport opens new passport e-gates

The scanners were used for the first time on Wednesday
Image caption The scanners were used for the first time on Wednesday

Cardiff Airport has opened its new passport checking system, which ministers say is an important part of their no-deal Brexit planning.

The e-gates, which opened on Wednesday, allow travellers with biometric passports to bypass manual inspections when they cross border control.

Transport minister Ken Skates said they would help keep immigration queuing to a minimum.

Cardiff Airport said the new gates would help with its growth.

Only airports with more than two million inbound passengers a year have the gates fitted free of charge, according to the Welsh Government, which provided up to £1m for the gates to be installed in Cardiff.

The Home Office said Cardiff Airport has about 428,000 inbound passengers each year.

Mr Skates said: "The new ePassport gates are an important part of our no-deal Brexit planning.

"They will help ensure queuing in immigration is minimised should the UK government not secure a seamless departure from the EU.

"This smoother entry to Wales, and subsequently the UK, enhances the customer experience, whilst meeting all UK Border Force requirements."

Cardiff Airport chief executive officer Deb Barber said the new ePassport gates was "a very positive step forward in our long term strategy for growth".

The airport recently announced plans for its future, including an ambition to attract new airlines and offer new routes over the next 20 years

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