The UK Border Agency (UKBA) has withdrawn Biometric eye scanners from use at Birmingham and Manchester airports in the UK. The Iris Recognition Immigration System (IRIS) was first introduced at Heathrow in 2005 and installed at Birmingham, Gatwick and Manchester in 2006. The UKBA has said that IRIS will remain in use at Heathrow and Gatwick airports until after the Olympic Games.
A UKBA spokeswoman said the British Government was reviewing the use of the scanners in the light of new technology and it seems likely that the popularity of airport e-Passport gates which are open to holders of electronically-chipped biometric passport has led to the IRIS systems being underutilised.
A Birmingham Airport spokesperson said, “Since IRIS was installed at Birmingham Airport in 2006, E-passport gates have been introduced, which are becoming more and more popular with our passengers, whilst the IRIS system has been used less frequently. We therefore understand the reason behind UKBA’s decision.”