A new security regime is being considered that could see air passengers being tagged at the airport.
The project, called Optag, is being led by Dr Paul Brennan of University College London and would involve travellers entering an airport being given an electronic wristband embedded with a computer chip that would track their movements.
These tags would make use of radio frequency identification technology and would be used in tandem with video-imaging systems.
This would allow passengers to be tracked to within about a metre of their location and allow airport security staff to keep a close eye on those acting suspiciously, as well as relocating lost children with their parents.
The chips would transmit information such as passenger names and flight number, but would not contain any other personal details such as addresses, according to Dr Brennan.
A trial is planned for Hungary this year and if it proves successful the tags could be operational within two years.
The scheme is likely to draw criticism from those worried about civil liberties infringements. However, the team’s Professor Gloria Laycock moved to reassure the public.
“We don’t want to live in Fort Knox; we don’t want a dystopia,” she told This Is London.
“We think science and technology can deliver the most amazing things, but we have to be sure these things are integrated into society in ways we’re comfortable with.”