“It is a £50 million project, and Heathrow says that when the system is fully operational it will represent the largest deployment of airport biometrics in the world.”
London’s Heathrow airport has officially announced an ambitious curb-to-gate biometric passenger processing system to be launched next summer.
The system will be based on facial recognition, using the technology to identify travelers at check-in, luggage drop, security screening, and boarding. It is a £50 million project, and Heathrow says that when the system is fully operational it will represent the largest deployment of airport biometrics in the world.
In a statement announcing the program, Heathrow indicated that some travelers have already been trialing the biometric technology this year and that “feedback has been tremendously positive.” The organization also explained that “[t]he long-term aim of the technology will be for passengers to be able to walk through the airport without breaking their stride.”
The airport’s announcement comes on the heels of an announcement from Yoti, a UK-based provider of a mobile ID app based on biometric authentication, that it would work with Heathrow to replace traditional travel documents with digital versions.
Heathrow has previously proven itself to be a pioneer in airport biometrics, first launching biometric eGates back in the spring of last year for domestic travelers. But the forthcoming system will extend the use of facial recognition technology to “every stage of the departing passenger’s journey,” according to the airport’s statement.
October 30, 2018 – by Alex Perala