BA to introduce fingerprint checks at Heathrow
|July 17, 2007||Posted by admin under Travel News|
British Airways passengers are to become the first in Britain to have their fingerprint taken as a matter of routine, the Times newspaper reports. From next year all passengers travelling on BA’s domestic flights from Heathrow will have to give their fingerprint and have their face scanned as part of the security check prior to take off.
The new biometric techniques, which will be introduced at Terminal 5 when it opens on March 27, were being implemented as a result of ‘recent security threats,’ airport operator BAA said. Similar procedures are already in force in other countries, including the US.
BAA said the checks, which will take place at the normal security point and then again immediately prior to boarding, had become necessary because Terminal 5 had a common departure lounge for international and domestic passengers. These lounges leave open the possibility that a passenger arriving on an international flight could board a domestic flight from the common area and evade immigration control.
Existing terminals which have common lounges for international and domestic passengers, such as Gatwick, get around this problem by requiring all domestic passengers to have a photo taken, which is then printed on their boarding pass. The spokesman added that while there were no plans yet to introduce biometric security checks across all airports such checks were ‘definitely the way of the future’.