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 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 448sq.m of additional floor space for the immigration area, as well as 110sq.m 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, the airport's director of operations, 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 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.

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