Heathrow Airport will become the first airport in the UK to implement radical new steps in an attempt to increase and improve security. All British Airways’ domestic and international flights from Terminal 5, which opens in March next year, will require passengers to provide biometric information before boarding their flight. Such information includes fingerprint testing and facial scans which will validate the identity of passengers.
The main purpose of the new system is to assist border and immigration control when domestic and non-domestic passengers mix in the same terminal. As well as this, staff feel that it will definitely improve security and stop people from swapping tickets and getting on flights that they’re not supposed to.
The new Terminal 5 building, which is costing £4.3 billion to build, has been predicted to increase the number of passengers travelling to and from the airport by another 30 million a year. The airport is already the largest in the UK with around 70 million flyers using it in 2006. Depending on the success of this new system it may be used in other terminals at Heathrow Airport in the near future.
Terminal 5 will be used exclusively by British Airways and it is hoped that it will help improve the travel experience for passengers after recent security and congestion problems at Heathrow. There are high expectations for the terminal and a lot of pressure for it to be completed on time. With 2.3 million metres of cabling, 163 systems, 546 interfaces, more than 2,000 PCs, 5,000 mobile devices and 96 self-service kiosks there certainly is a lot to bring together.
As the world’s busiest international airport already, the addition of an extra terminal has unsurprisingly upset locals and environmentalists. With the tarmacked area alone being the equivalent to 200 miles of three lane motorway and West London being the most congested part of the South East, campaigners have been fighting hard to voice their disagreements with the extension.
It is thought that an extra 21,500 car parking spaces will be needed, however, nothing has been mentioned yet about whether or not the facilities for parking at Heathrow Airport will be increased.
Image belongs to: Esteban De Sousa Seibane. Taken from: http://www.flickr.com