British Airways has become the first airline to introduce biometric scanners throughout an airport, with the introduction of three new facial recognition-enabled scanners at boarding gates.
Situated in Heathrow’s Terminal 5 and currently serving domestic flights for the airline, the new system adds to the existing automated scanners passengers already use in other parts of the airport.
BA said under its new system passengers will experience a “smoother journey” through the airport, with passengers now scanning their own boarding pass when they arrive at the gate.
It is at this point that the biometric points will compare a facial scan taken when passengers travel through security with the face at the gate, matching it before allowing access to the aircraft.
The airline said it will open three more self-boarding gates at each of its domestic departure stands every week until the middle of June, and says it hopes to roll out the scheme to international flights in the future too.
The company’s director of customer experience Troy Warfield said: “Our customers have told us that they want the ability to simplify and speed up their journeys through the airport.
“The addition of self-boarding gates, along with self-serve bag drop points, are just two of the ways in which we are investing in areas our customers value most.”
Biometric technology is being increasingly turned to as an enhanced security measure for many companies.
Most of the major smartphone manufacturers already deploy the technology to unlock devices via fingerprint scanners, while Samsung’s Galaxy S8 will ship with both facial recognition and iris scanning technology built in.