Heathrow Airport, United Kingdom

Paving the way for a premium travel experience


Making customer service soar with innovative integrated access

It started out as a single airstrip back in 1929 – today, Heathrow Airport is now the second-busiest airport in the world in terms of international passenger traffic, comprising four passenger terminals and a cargo terminal. In 2018, it handled a record 80.1 million passengers and 480,339 aircraft.

With passenger growth at a five-year high, Heathrow Airport wanted to boost its passenger management and speed up the boarding process using innovative access solutions.

dormakaba oversaw the installation of self-boarding gates that allowed for integrated access with Heathrow’s existing biometric gate infrastructure.


How we introduce access control solutions for enhanced security?

  • Quick and easy – integrated access enables simpler, faster throughput without compromising on security.

  • New innovative traffic paths – facial recognition at different passenger touchpoints creates a seamless experience for passengers walking through the airport.

  • Complex integration requiring close collaboration with third-party IT providers – rapid response from our support team when issues with third-party IT providers arise.

  • Self-boarding with a web-based administration program – PaxCheck is used for gate management and provides comprehensive reports on passenger flows. These two features together speed up the boarding process.

“We’re incredibly impressed by the use of dormakaba products in the integration of our terminal upgrades.”

Simon Wilcox

Passenger Automation Programme Lead


Quick, safe, secure people flow for airports

Biometric gates

Our new technology uses facial recognition at check-in, bag drop, security and boarding gates to create a seamless experience for passengers. It has been tried and tested by border institutions as part of immigration and traveler verification processes.

Self-boarding gates

In its search for suitable self-boarding gates, the team at London Heathrow Airport contacted dormakaba. After reviewing the requirements for the airport, we recommended and supplied HSB-M03 self-boarding gates and the PaxCheck self-boarding solution. This facilitates gate management and sends reports about passengers and passenger flows, paving the way for faster boarding and a streamlined staff. This also gives airline management live stats on the number of passengers passing through the gates at any given period.

“For the passenger journey at the airport, Heathrow was in the market for a bespoke, technically capable system that could handle increasing passenger numbers while providing a seamless passenger experience,” explains Andy Carter, Contracting Business Sales and Operations Director at dormakaba UK. “The final project is set to have over 400 gates.”

Close collaboration

The integration process was complex, but the challenge was overcome through close collaboration between the engineers, the project team at dormakaba and Heathrow Airport’s own team. The upgraded terminals now feature a market-leading self-boarding solution that adheres to all the latest security and building standards and comes with third-line and fourth-line support from dormakaba.

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