Passengers could soon be WEIGHED before flights

AIR passengers could be WEIGHED before they board flights in a bit to cut fuel costs and emissions.

Discreet “pressure pads” could be used as passengers pass through the airport – with data then used to determine how much fuel is needed per flight.

Talks are underway between Berkshire-based firm Fuel Matrix and several long-haul airlines in the UK over implementing the system.

Weighing could take place as passengers check in or leave their luggage at self-service bag drops.

Or it could happen as they pass through security scanners, according to proposals under discussion.

Fuel needs for planes can vary considerably depending on the total weight being carried.

The heavier the load, the more fuel is needed and the higher the carbon emissions.

Currently, airlines estimate using an inexact science based on the gender ratio of the passengers on board.

Many allow 88kg (13.8 stone) for men, 70kg (11 stone) for women and 35kg (5.5 stone) for children.

But this method means airlines often use more fuel than they need to, Fuel Matrix says.

Chief operating officer Nick Brasier told the Independent that as much as one per cent more fuel is added for most flights than is needed.

They then burn between 0.3 and 0.5 per cent more fuel due to the extra weight of the fuel.

With exact weights, total savings on fuel could be as much as £750million worldwide, the company claims.

Explaining his concept, Mr Brasier said: “We’re not suggesting people should stand on the scales, but airports could fit ‘pressure pads’ in the bag-drop area in front of each screen.

“After the bag has been checked in, the system can ask, ‘Are you standing on the pressure pad?’

“If the passenger taps ‘Yes’, then the weight can be recorded and passed confidentially to the airline.”