London Luton airport is to install additional e-passport gates at its terminal this month, as part of its £115 million transformation plan.

The five new gates – which use facial recognition technology to provide identity and security checks – bring the total number to 15. They can be used by European Economic Area nationals travelling with a biometric passport.

The airport recorded a 13 per cent increase in passengers in November, its 32nd consecutive month of passenger growth.

The airport says it is currently the only London airport without an “express-style” rail service offering at least four trains per hour to central London, and has called on the government to change this “through the upcoming East Midlands rail refranchising process”.

This would be separate to the £200 million planned rail link between Luton Airport Parkway station and the terminal.

Commenting on the news Nick Barton, CEO of London Luton Airport, said:

“We’re working hard to transform the airport with our £110million investment programme. Working with Border Force to introduce more automated e-passport gates is a great indicator of how we’re aiming to make our passengers’ journeys as quick and simple as possible.

“With the redevelopment making rapid progress on-site, we’re also looking to drive improvements in transport links to the airport. Introducing four fast trains per hour through the new East Midlands franchise would benefit passengers, the local community and fare box revenues at no cost to government.”

Earlier this year the airport passed the 14 million annual passengers milestone. Redevelopment projects are aimed at increasing capacity to 20 million by 2020.