London, Aug.19 : Air passengers travelling to British airports will now have their faces scanned and identities checked by machines under plans to be announced.
Thousands of passengers are already being scanned in a trial being carried out at two airports.
However if the trials prove successful, ministers want the machines to replace most front line airport immigration officer over the next five years, reports The Telegraph.
As well as improving security, the government hopes the computers will cut passenger congestion. The machines take 13-15 seconds per passenger, while a human takes 20 seconds.
Eleven pilot "walk-in" machines were covertly introduced at Manchester and Stansted airports last month to check passports automatically.
Home Secretary Jacqui Smith is expected to be in Manchester airport to unveil the new plans on Tuesday.
The new machines take instant photographs of the holder, which are then electronically matched against the 2D digital pictures in their documents to check their identities.
If the pilot schemes are a success, the technology is likely to be rolled out to airports and ports nationwide.
But critics said last night that the technology is unproven and could cause innocent passengers to be rejected.