We have all been there. You are sitting on the plane waiting for the aircrew to close the door when an announcement is made that they are having to wait for one passenger who hasn’t boarded.
Cue airport announcements for Mr Smith to go immediately to Gate 34 where his flight to Madrid is about to leave. Of course, it can’t leave unless his luggage is removed so there is a delay whilst either Mr Smith is located or his baggage is off-loaded.
Where is Mr Smith? Well studies show that most ‘missing’ passengers are either in the Airport bar or in duty free having lost track of time.
Apart from tannoy announcements, until now the only way to hurry Mr Smith along was to send out a member of the airline staff to try to find him but, not knowing what Mr Smith looked like, it was like searching for a needle in a haystack.
Well, Singapore’s Changi Airport may have come up with a solution: Facial Recognition Technology. Using cameras which already cover the whole of the airport, Changi Airport is working with Airlines to develop software which will marry passport images to passengers in the terminal.
When complete, if a passenger has failed to make their way to the gate, the software will be able to find them in the airport so that a member of staff can be dispatched to the correct bar or restaurant to remind them they should be making their way to the gate. The aim is to have staff armed with ipads who will be constantly on the lookout for lagging passengers and who can then get them to the gates before a delay arises.
Is this further evidence of Big Brother or the clever use of technology to reduce flight delays. Only time will tell.