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Thursday 17 November 2022

Is it time to say goodbye to paper passports forever?

Is it time to say goodbye to passports forever?

British Airways to trial biometric technology to enable passengers to travel through their departure airport without showing their passport.

Customers involved in the airline’s trial at Heathrow Airport terminal 5 can scan their face, passport and boarding pass on their smartphone ahead of travel.

When they arrive at the airport, Smart Bio-Pod cameras can verify their identity in under three seconds, Travel Mole reports.

David Breeze, Operations Transformation Manager for British Airways, said: “This is a secure and efficient tool that makes for a smarter airport experience, which will reduce the time it takes us to board aircraft.

“The technology also frees our people up to look after more complex customer enquiries."

The trial will run for six months using British Airways flights to Malaga, Spain, as the test case.

Customers who opt in will be invited to make use of the Fast-Track security lane and priority boarding.

If successful, they process is expected to be extended to more international flights.

It follows the introduction of automated biometric technology on British Airways’ domestic flights in 2017. That technology records customers’ facial scans at security and matches it to them at the boarding gate.

Given Australia's speed of take-up of new technology, we should see this come into operation in around 2035.

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