World

All Set to Take off? UK Start-up Floats Idea of Weighing Passengers Before Flights

All Set to Take off? UK Start-up Floats Idea of Weighing Passengers Before Flights
Passengers may soon be “discreetly” weighed before flights in the United Kingdom, according to a media report, in a bid to help airlines cut down fuel, costs and carbon emissions.

UK-based tech start-up, Fuel Matrix, is in talks with long-haul airlines in the UK over the deployment of 'pressure pads' that would discreetly weigh passengers as they pass through the airport, reports the Daily Mail.

This will help pilots calculate the exact fuel requirement of every plane. The 'pressure pads' could be installed at self-service baggage drops or at security body scan machines.
The fuel consumption and carbon emission depend on the load a flight carries.

Chief executive of Fuel Matrix, Roy Fuscone, told Lonely Planet: "It's critical to know the actual weight an airliner is carrying to ensure the correct fuel uplift."

Currently, the total weight of passengers is calculated by carriers by using an estimate based on gender: 88kg (13.8 stone) for men, 70kg (11 stone) for women and 35kg (5.5 stone) for children, according to the report.

Fuel Matrix, however, feels airlines are being forced to use more fuel than required due to such calculation.

Most flights carry about one per cent more fuel than they need and burn about 0.3 to 0.5 per cent more fuel due to the extra fuel weight, The Independent quoted Chief operating officer Nick Brasier as saying The state-owned flag carrier airline of Samoa, Samoa Air, introduced a policy charging passengers by weight in 2013.

Uzbekistan Airways had drawn ire when in 2015 it announced to weigh passengers at check-in desks, warning that some overweight people would be barred from busy flights on smaller planes if limits exceed.

Finnair had implemented a similar idea on voluntary basis.