Gatwick Airport is collaborating with airline easyJet to launch the first trial of end-to-end biometrics to simplify and accelerate the passenger screening process while decreasing the risk of human error.
During the three-month trial, personal data gathered at the airport’s self-service bag drops will be recognised by automated self-boarding gates that will identify each passenger and verify that their passport, face, and boarding card match.
The complete process is expected to take less than 20 seconds.
Gatwick Airport chief operating officer Chris Woodroofe said: “Gatwick prides itself on providing innovative solutions to enhance the passenger experience at every touch point. With the rate of growth we have experienced, it is essential we are able to find more efficient ways of processing passengers through the airport safely and securely.
“Self-boarding technology is the obvious next piece in the jigsaw following extensive investment in our automated check-in and security processing areas.”
Passengers travelling without luggage that wish to participate in the trial can have their data collected at the entrance to the boarding area.
It is estimated that nearly 10,000 passengers will participate in the trial on 43 Gatwick routes.
Once all the data is collected, the technology will be adapted and adjusted prior to airport-wide implementation, which is hoped to cut queuing times.
easyJet ground operations director Karen Cox said: “We are trialling new facial recognition technology at Gatwick for the first time, which, if rolled out, could revolutionise the boarding experience for our customers.
“The technology streamlines the processes our customers go through, saving them time and enhancing their travel experiences.”
The boarding process is the final part of the automated stage to be developed, which comes after Gatwick deployed a modern self-service bag drop technology three years ago.