29 APRIL 2019
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A high-tech revolution at Heathrow means passengers flying from the airport will no longer have to show passports or boarding passes at check-in from this summer as facial-recognition facilities that have been on trial go permanent.
Revealed in The Times on Saturday, the story is confirmation of reports last year (BTN 29 October 2018), which said Heathrow was planning a full-scale roll-out of new biometric services from this summer to streamline passenger journeys.
Similar moves are in various stages of introduction at several airports round the world, including Gatwick and Hong Kong and a similar system is already working at the new Ramon International Airport near Eilat in Israel.
Heathrow’s £50m project will involve passengers going to automated kiosks to scan their passports and have their photos taken. The photos will then ‘match’ each person’s face to the passport and travel details.
The Times said while the airport already uses facial recognition for people entering the country using biometric e-gates, this will be the first time a British airport has used such advanced technology at every stage of a passenger’s departure.
Gatwick, Britain’s second largest airport, said it has also been looking into using the technology and will run a second trial next month.
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