Gatwick Airport is trialling an automated self-service boarding system using iris recognition technology.

The airport says the trial, using technology from Human Recognition Systems (HRS), is a world first in the airline industry. The biometric system is currently in use by passengers on selected flights in the North Terminal.

Powered by HRS' MFlow system, integrated with hardware from other specialist vendors, passengers check-in using designated self-service bag drops to deposit their hold luggage, and enrol themselves biometrically via unobtrusive iris recognition technology.

For passengers travelling with only hand baggage the enrolment process takes place at the security ticket presentation stage.

The trial programme enables enrolled passengers to pass through automated self-service gates to board an aircraft through the combination of iris recognition and the presentation of a valid boarding card.

The system associates the iris template with the passenger's boarding pass to simultaneously reaffirm a passenger's identity, ensuring full compliance with airport security regulations.

Chris Baldwin, change manager at London Gatwick, said: "This innovative trial is an excellent example of how we are using cutting-edge technology to shape the future of travel through our airport."

MFlow is already deployed in London Gatwick's South Terminal for passenger identification and verification. HRS provided biometric technology systems for the London 2012 Olympic Village.