Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Biometric Data Collection for Heathrow Airport Passengers

assengers to help boost security.

Some travellers using the airport's Terminal 1 are now required to undergo iris scans and provide fingerprints before boarding their flights.

The rules apply to domestic passengers who wish to visit the Terminal's international lounge, and passengers arriving on an international flight and transferring to a UK domestic one.

Domestic passengers who do not wish to visit Terminal 1's international lounge will not have to provide the data.

A spokeswoman for the British Airports Authority (BAA), which runs Heathrow, said passengers will still continue to provide their photo ID and boarding pass in addition to the iris scan and fingerprint.

She explained that the biometric data is destroyed within 24 hours.

Iris, Fingerprint Scanning Could Be Extended to Terminal 5

The collection of iris and fingerpint data is significant because it is the first time passengers at Heathrow are required to give their data.

Previously, the only biometric data collection at Heathrow has been on a voluntary basis - since 2005, 'frequent flyer' passengers using Terminals 2 and 4 have been able to voluntarily sign up for iris scanning.

The spokeswoman added that the biometric scanning could be extended to include the new Terminal 5, opening at the end of March, which will be used exclusively by British Airways and will handle domestic and international flights.
Terminal 5 Check-In Cut-Off

Meanwhile, British Airways has announced that it will be operating a 45-minute cut-off time limit for check-in at the new Terminal 5.

This deadline will apply to all passengers, both domestic and international, and to all classes of travel - including business-class.

A BA spokesman said this cut-off time would be "unbreakable".

He added that BA will no longer allow changes to tickets or seating plans at the boarding gate.

Terminal 5 opens for domestic and European services on March 27, with intercontinental services following on April 30.

Source - Airport International's London Reporter

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