The UK's Stansted Airport has officially opened its new and improved 22-lane security search area, the first phase of the £80m project to transform the terminal building and improve the passenger experience.
The new area was inaugurated by aviation minister Robert Goodwill.
The relocated security area is double the size of the previous one and has an additional four security lanes, taking the total to 22.
It also features 20 automatic self-serve entrance gates, dedicated lanes for families and passengers with reduced mobility and a fast track lane for premium travellers.
Mr Goodwill said: "It was fantastic to see for myself the transformation of the terminal at Stansted, and to hear about how passengers will benefit from measures to keep queues down.
"By making this investment, Stansted is showing that it is stepping up to the challenges of keeping the UK well connected."
Stansted Airport managing director Andrew Harrison said: "Our focus is to provide great customer service, value and facilities and put Stansted in the strongest position to compete effectively for new routes airlines and passengers.
"The transformation of our terminal is a critical element in achieving this aim and central to our future growth plans for the airport."
Airport owner Manchester Airports Group (MAG) noted that it used psychological research to understand the locations when passengers feel confused, stressed and relaxed during their time at the airport.
The previous security screening area was locked in the centre of the terminal, meaning that all passengers had to pass through check-in, even if they did not need to be there.
The new security area has been relocated to allow passengers entering the terminal without check-in luggage to immediately enter the security area, making it a more relaxed and convenient experience.
MAG purchased Stansted Airport about 12 months ago after Heathrow owner BAA was forced by the regulator to divest it to create more competition in the market.
Image: From left, Stansted Airport managing director Andrew Harrison, aviation minister Robert Goodwill MP and Saffron Walden MP, Sir Alan Haselhurst open the new security search area at Stansted Airport. Photo: courtesy of Stansted Airport Limited.