A British tech startup could provide a solution to weigh plane passengers in a bid to boost flight efficiency by cutting fuel costs and emissions.
Although measuring the appropriate weight on board is extremely important for flight efficiency and safety, the idea of forcing passengers to weigh themselves before boarding is too controversial.
However, Fuel Matrix – a startup launched by Roy Fuscone – could provide the answer to this problem.
The company is reportedly in negotiations with a number of airlines in the UK to discreetly calculate the weight of passengers by introducing tactful ‘pressure pads’.
The hidden pads would either be placed at self-service luggage drop-offs or at check-ins.
By introducing this innovative technology, the airlines would be able to boost flight safety as well as cut fuel costs and emissions.
The current practice followed around the world is to estimate the total weight on board by using average weights for each passenger – 35kg (5.5 stone) for children, 70kg (11 stone) for women, and 88kg (13.8 stone) for men.
Fuel Matrix, however, says this is an inaccurate method which causes planes to burn more fuel than required.
By working out the exact weight of passengers, the airlines around the world could save as much as £750 million every year.
“More airports and airlines are moving towards self-service bag drops, where the passenger uses a screen-based system to weigh their baggage on scales and answer questions about its contents,” Nick Brasier, chief operating officer of the Berkshire startup, told The Independent.
“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.”
According to initial reports of the on-going talks, the airlines won’t charge an extra fee to heavier passengers if the proposed scheme gets adopted.
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