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Borders: Security

Volume 492: debated on Wednesday 20 May 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many IRIS machines are installed at UK borders; how many were working throughout the first three months of 2009; how many instances of equipment failure have been recorded since the installation of these machines; and how many people have registered on the IRIS system. (274297)

There are 12 IRIS machines in operation at 10 airport terminals: Heathrow terminals 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5; Manchester terminals 1 and 2; Birmingham terminal 1 and Gatwick North and South.

The recorded barrier availability figures for the first three months of 2009 are:

Percentage availability

January

97.31

February

98.02

March

98.90

It is not possible to isolate the number of instances of equipment failure from other faults. However, between January 2008 and March 2009, the overall availability of the IRIS system has been 95.36 per cent.

The number of passenger crossings has now reached the 2 million milestone. To date, 299,975 people have enrolled on the IRIS system.