Contactless bag-drop technology trialled at Heathrow Airport

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Amadeus touchless bag drop technology is being trialled at London Heathrow Airport.

The bag-drop technology uses proximity sensors to allow passengers to check-in their luggage without touching the screens on the kiosks. The new contactless experience has initially been installed on six of Heathrow’s Auto Bag Drop (ABD) units provided by ICM Airport Technics, an Amadeus subsidiary.

The Amadeus contactless solution sees an infra-red proximity sensor installed along the top edge of the bag-drop screen, which detects the passenger’s finger as far as 3cm from the screen surface. This allows passengers to interact with the bag-drop unit as usual but without the need to physically touch the screen.

Mark Burgess, process improvement director, London Heathrow, said, “We’re preparing to welcome back more travelers, by looking for new and innovative technologies that will help to ensure the passenger experience remains safe and efficient in a post-Covid world. That’s why we’re delighted to be working with Amadeus to trial these touchless self-service bag-drop units. This is just one of many new measures that we’re implementing across our terminals, as part of Heathrow’s Fly Safe program.”

Richard Dinkelmann, CEO, ICM Airport Technics, added, “We’re working closely with our airport and airline partners to deliver solutions that help them adapt passenger services to the new environment. Whether it’s contactless bag drop, biometric boarding or off-airport check-in, we are working with airports to rethink how they can meet new traveler requirements.”

ICM Airport Technics, which became part of Amadeus in 2019, has supplied more than 270 Auto Bag Drop (ABD) units to Heathrow since 2016 as the sole partner for self-service bag drop, and they are shared by 30 airlines.

Amadeus and Heathrow have been trialling several contactless technologies for self-service over recent months, including ‘screen mirroring’, which allows the passenger to operate an ABD unit with their own mobile device. Following extensive testing, it was decided to move forward with the proximity sensor approach. Upon completion of the proximity sensor trial, all check-in kiosks and ABD units could be upgraded in a matter of weeks.

Amadeus recently delivered an end-to-end contactless solution for Avinor at 17 of its airports in Norway helping to create a completely touchless experience from check-in to boarding.

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Dan originally joined Passenger Terminal World in 2014 having spent the early years of his career in the recruitment industry. As online editor, he now produces daily content for the website and supports the editor with the publication of each exciting new issue. When he’s not reporting on the latest aviation news, Dan can be found on the golf course or apprehensively planning his next DIY project.

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