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Security line at Helsinki Airport (photo: Finavia)

UK Startup to discreetly weigh passengers

A British technology company says it can weigh airline passengers discreetly to reduce the fuel needed for flights.

Fuel Matrix, a technology startup based in the UK has a possible solution to the problem of finding precisely how much weight a flight is carrying to calculate the correct amount of fuel required.

Because most airlines use estimates that are often higher than the real weights of passengers, actually weighing passengers would require slightly less extra fuel at takeoff.

The lower initial amount of fuel would reduce overall weight, increasing flight safety and resulting in less fuel burned.

Consequently, fuel costs would be lowered and carbon emissions reduced.

However, consumers could be reluctant to have their weight publicly displayed or even recorded along with their identification details if that data is not absolutely secure.

According to Lonely Planet, Fuel Matrix CEO Roy Fuscone says that the company’s patented technology would allow for precise, discreet and secure weight measurements.

Discreet methods could include pressure pads at self-service bag drops or during security body scans.

Mr. Fuscone also told Lonely Planet that all data collected would be securely handled and protected in the same way that biometric data for security purposes is protected.

Previous attempts
In 2015, Uzbekistan Airways announced that it would weigh passengers at check-in for flight safety.

Finnair introduced voluntary weighing of passengers at Helsinki airport in 2017. Because it was a voluntary program, the collected data might have been skewed by self-selection bias.

Somoa Air actually charges passengers based on their body weight and the added weight of their luggage.

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