AIR­PORTS FACE UP TO A BOARD­ING REV­O­LU­TION

The Daily Telegraph - Travel - - FRONT PAGE -

In just three years’ time a ma­jor­ity of the world’s trav­ellers will be board­ing planes us­ing only their face as proof of iden­tity.

This is the view of avi­a­tion tech­nol­ogy spe­cial­ists Sita, which says eight out of 10 air­ports are plan­ning to in­stall ma­jor bio­met­ric ID man­age­ment pro­grammes by 2021.

Al­ready be­ing tri­alled in

air­ports around the world, in­clud­ing Heathrow, Los An­ge­les and Orlando, the tech­nol­ogy will al­low pas­sen­gers to do away with pass­ports and board­ing passes and al­low air­lines to turn planes around for de­par­ture in record time.

Later this year, Bri­tish Air­ways will open its new £52mil­lion ter­mi­nal at New York’s JFK air­port, with bio­met­ric se­cu­rity and board­ing key to its smooth run­ning. The tech­nol­ogy is al­ready be­ing used on do­mes­tic flights depart­ing the air­line’s base at Heathrow’s Ter­mi­nal 5.

Raoul Cooper, senior de­sign man­ager for the dig­i­tal air­port at BA, said the air­line is look­ing for a “par­a­digm shift” in how air­ports op­er­ate.

“Bio­met­ric board­ing will help the cum­ber­some na­ture of the jour­ney dis­solve away,” he said.

Low cost car­rier easyJet, too, has been test­ing out fa­cial recog­ni­tion at its base at Lon­don Gatwick.

A spokesman said the trial had been a suc­cess and that the air­line is now look­ing at how it can use the tech­nol­ogy else­where.

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