British Airways has become the first airline to trial biometric boarding technology on international flights departing the USA.

The partnership with Los Angeles International airport removes the need for passengers to show their passport or boarding pass at the gate, with the technology “recognising their unique facial features, and reconciling them with the digital facial scan taken as part of the immigration process”.

BA says the “exclusive trial” will significantly reduce the amount of time it takes to board an aircraft, with passengers only needing to present passports and boarding passes at check-in and security.

The airline said it had been working closely with the Customs and Border Protection Agency and the US government to develop and approve the scheme.

According to a press release the new gates have been installed on three stands at LAX, and “British Airways is the only airline with the advanced technology to offer purely biometric boarding to its customers”.

Commenting on the news Carolina Martinoli, British Airways’ director of brand and customer experience, said:

“Our customers want the ability to simplify and speed up their journeys through the airport, so we’re investing in the most advanced technology that will enable us to streamline our boarding process and further improve our punctuality.

“We’re using biometric technology that consumers are now familiar with and trust because it delivers a convenient, reliable and secure experience. This step forward to modernise our operation is a first in the industry, and we will continue to work with airports around the world to evolve this technology, and revolutionise the way in which people travel.”

Earlier this year BA introduced the use of biometric boarding gates at selected gates at Heathrow T5.