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UK’s first airport biometrics trial launched by Gatwick

Gatwick Airport is continuing its commitment to digital innovation by launching the UK’s first trial of end-to-end biometrics, which will see personal data collected to improve passengers’ journey through the airport.

If successful, it is believed the technology could make the process of travelling through the airport quicker and easier for passengers, reducing queues and improving security.

The trial, launched in partnership with easyJet, will see 10,000 easyJet passengers on 43 different routes have their personal data collected at Gatwick’s self-service bag drops. This will then be recognised by new automated self-boarding gates, enabling passengers to travel through more quickly and eliminating the risk of human error.

The newly installed self-boarding gates feature technology which will identify passengers and check their passport, face and boarding card match up in under 20 seconds.

The three-month trial is the first of its kind in the UK and will enable the airport to identify trends and adapt the technology accordingly ahead of a full launch.

Gatwick Airport’s 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.

“I’m excited to see this trial come to life with easyJet’s passengers.  Together we are at the forefront of providing technological solutions that enhance the passenger journey”.

easyJet’s Director of Ground Operations, 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.

“Whilst still in its very early stages this project is clearly consistent with our digital strategy of continuing to innovate to make passengers’ journey’s easier at every stage of their interaction with us – from searching and browsing for a flight through to stepping off the aircraft in their destination.“

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UK’s first airport biometrics trial launched by Gatwick