A mobile app that could help cut queues at airport security is being trialled at Hartsfield Jackson Airport, Atlanta.
The long, unwelcoming queues at the customs desks of airports may soon be a thing of the past, if the trial of a new app in the United States is successful.
The app allows iPhone and iPad users to bypass the queue at passport control and go through customs virtually. Travellers download the app, called "mobilepassport", fill in a profile, take their own picture and answer questions, then submit their information to US Customs and Border Protection for consideration, via the app.
Once the information has been verified, the app displays a QR code which is valid for four hours and scanned by officials who also see the traveller's passport just before exit.
At the moment, only US and Canadian citizens can use the app, being trialled in Hartsfield-Jackson airport. Atlanta's airport is the busiest in the world for both passenger numbers and operations, seeing on average 2,500 departures and dealing with 250,000 passengers each day (in comparison, Heathrow has 1,286 flights and 191,200 passengers on average per day).
An Android version of the app will be available in September and the app is expected to be rolled out to other airports in the US toward the end of the year. It is unknown whether the app will be extended to cover citizens from other countries.
The app is a new attempt to reduce passenger queues at passport control, but there is no sign of a UK version as yet.