British Airways has announced that it has become the first UK-based airline to offer automated biometric passenger processing.
With plans for the biometric eGates having first come to light toward the end of last month, the airline has announced that three of them are now in operation at Heathrow airport, with over 4,000 travelers already having been processed. The system presents a simpler boarding process for travelers, who need only to scan their passports and then proceed to their planes; as they pass through security, live scans of their faces are compared against the passports using facial recognition technology, confirming their identities as they present their boarding passes at aircraft entrances.
The eGates go into operation alongside self-service baggage checking, and will soon be complemented with further deployments. British Airways says that three additional biometric eGates will open at each domestic departure zone every week until the middle of June, with plans to expand the biometric screening to all international flights in the long term.
The move reflects a broader trend underway around the world, with recent announcements concerning the development of biometric passenger screening systems in Australia, Canada, Iceland, and the United States.
April 10, 2017 – by Alex Perala