Heathrow reveals £50m plan to speed up travel through airport

A £50 million project will see facial recognition added to more points at Heathrow from summer 2019.

The scheme is designed to speed up check in, bag drop and boarding.

The plan was unveiled as Iata research showed that 64% of passengers would be prepared to share biometric information in exchange for a smoother journey 

The airport is set to have the world’s largest deployment of biometrically enabled products including bag drops and self-boarding gates

The “biometric revolution” will see a full-scale roll out of new biometric services from next summer.

The new technology will be a first for the London hub and aims to streamline the experience for passengers from check-in to take-off.

This could reduce the average passenger’s journey time by up to a third, the airport claimed.

The new technology uses facial recognition at check-in, bag drops, security lanes and boarding gates to create a seamless experience for passengers.

Passengers have already been trialling the new services in the live operation throughout 2018 and feedback has been tremendously positive.

Currently, manual authentication means that passengers need to present different forms of ID such as boarding cards, booking reference numbers as well as their passports to different agents to show that they’re authorised to travel.

Heathrow customer relations and service director Jonathan Coen said:  “As our passenger numbers continue to grow, we must look for innovative ways to make it easier and quicker for them to travel through Heathrow with choice, whilst keeping our airport secure. Biometrics are key to helping us do that and we are really excited about the biggest roll out of this equipment at any UK airport. 

“With this technology we’ll be able to offer passengers choice on how they travel through our airport, with colleagues on hand to guide passengers that require it.

“Biometric technology has been well received by our passengers so far and we’re looking forward to working with our colleagues and the airline community as part of our ongoing transformation at Heathrow, with a focus on enhancing passenger experience.” 

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