AIRPORTS FACE UP TO A BOARDING REVOLUTION
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.