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LHR to Fully Implement Facial Recognition Technology

LHR to Fully Implement Facial Recognition Technology
Jackie Reddy

In a bid to offer a seamless passenger experience, London Heathrow Airport is getting ready to embrace facial recognition technology. While it is already currently in use at LHR for some phases of the passenger experience, 2019 will see the facility utilize facial recognition to its fullest extent.

London Heathrow Airport (LHR) is set to fully embrace facial recognition technology in a bid to ensure a more seamless passenger flow through its facility. In a statement, LHR confirmed that it will be looking to introduce this biometric technology in the summer of 2019.

As part of a larger goal aimed at making the travel experience at LHR more efficient, the facility said that, “The new technology uses facial recognition at check-in, bag drops, security lanes and boarding gates to create a seamless experience for passengers traveling through the airport…The long-term aim of the technology will be for passengers to be able to walk through the airport without breaking their stride.”

Facial recognition technology has already been trialed at LHR for some phases of the passenger experience and the airport has described the feedback from travelers as being “tremendously positive.” When fully implemented, passengers will see less reliance upon conventional forms of paper documents at travel checkpoints.

Commenting on this new technology, Jonathan Coen, the airport’s customer relations and service director said, “As our passenger numbers continue to grow, we must look for innovative ways to make it easier and quicker for them to travel through Heathrow with choice, whilst keeping our airport secure. Biometrics are key to helping us do that and we are really excited about the biggest roll out of this equipment at any UK airport.”

“With this technology we’ll be able to offer passengers choice on how they travel through our airport, with colleagues on hand to guide passengers that require it. Biometric technology has been well received by our passengers so far and we’re looking forward to working with our colleagues and the airline community as part of our ongoing transformation at Heathrow, with a focus on enhancing passenger experience,” he added.

[Photo: Shutterstock]

View Comments (5)


  1. ChargingStag

    October 19, 2018 at 7:44 am

    I don’t really like how this makes the future of airport based careers look. What does this mean for airport staffing numbers? Will there be big cuts as even facial ID checks are now taken over by technology? Will airport staff now just become basic ‘meet-and-greeters’ and floor walkers?
    Things really don’t look good for the future of airport staff.

  2. glob99

    October 19, 2018 at 11:44 am

    At a boxing match last year, the cameras produced a 90 percent false positive rate. at a rugby match, 87 percent of the supposed criminals it spotted were falsely identified.

    What could possibly go wrong? LOL

  3. sdsearch

    October 20, 2018 at 8:54 am

    Facial recognition will do NOTHING to help those passengers who have to take those pesky buses from one terminal to another and then go through security AGAIN :breeze: through the airport. If Heathrow wants passengers to “breeze” through the airport, ti should build airside inter-terminal trains.

    Otherwise, this helps O/D passengers only (who go directly to the terminal they’re flying from), but does NOTHING much to help connecting passengers (which at LHR are a HUGE portion of passengers).

    I’d much rather connect at FRA with its landside tunnel between terminals than LHR with those pesky buses and repeated waits for re-security.

  4. jonsg

    October 21, 2018 at 1:49 pm

    A system enthusiastically used by the British Police reportedly* has a 98% failure rate. I hope the LHR one is from a different supplier!


  5. Richard Street

    October 27, 2018 at 1:57 pm

    Lets hope they use the systems used by the big casinos in Vegas 😉

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