British Airways trials self-service biometric boarding gates

Through a partnership with Los Angeles Airport, the new technology is being tested on international flights out of USA.
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Reducing the time required to board the aircraft, BA’s biometric boarding gates utilise HD camera technology to scan distinct facial features of passengers.
Reducing the time required to board the aircraft, BA’s biometric boarding gates utilise HD camera technology to scan distinct facial features of passengers.

Working in close collaboration with technology solution provider Vision-Box and Los Angeles Airport, British Airways (BA) has introduced self-service biometric boarding gates. Currently on trial, the new system will be utilised on international flights coming out of the USA.

Reducing the time required to board the aircraft, BA’s biometric boarding gates utilise HD camera technology to scan distinct facial features of the passenger and compares it to the digital facial scan taken as part of the immigration process.

Carolina Martinoli, British Airways' director of brand and customer experience, said: “Our customers want the ability to simplify and speed up their journeys through the airport, so we’re investing in the most advanced technology that will enable us to streamline our boarding process and further improve our punctuality.

We’re using biometric technology that consumers are now familiar with and trust because it delivers a convenient, reliable and secure experience. This step forward to modernise our operation is a first in the industry, and we will continue to work with airports around the world to evolve this technology, and revolutionise the way in which people travel.”

To develop the associated supporting architecture and databases, the airline partnered with the Customs and Border Protection Agency and the US government to help develop the foundation for the platform.

The gates are currently being tested on three stands at Los Angeles Airport.

Justin Erbacci, chief innovation and technology officer at Angeles World Airports, shared: “This industry-first deployment of innovative solutions from the US Customs and Border Protection and Vision-Box, shows the amazing potential of using biometrics to speed up the boarding process while maintaining safety and security.

“We have been very impressed with the results thus far, and love to see the passengers’ excitement at being some of the first in the world to use facial recognition to board British Airways flights from LAX to Heathrow.”

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