The airports operator could introduce a “pentagon-style” security system

BAA could overhaul security at Heathrow airport by asking contractors to introduce a multi-million pound, “Pentagon-style” security system, potentially cutting lengthy security down to five seconds per passenger.

It is understood that if the airports operator introduces this system, it will call on its supply chain to help integrate it.

A source close to BAA said: “The technology is such that waiting times would be cut right down. People could just walk through a tunnel that would have metal detectors, an explosives sniffer and a body scanner all built in. The aim would be for contractors to come up with ways of integrating the system.”

Passengers could also walk through with their hand luggage.

The Pentagon has already introduced similar technology and it is expected to be trialled for the airports sector by the International Air Transport Association within 18 months.

In April, Building revealed that BAA was also developing an under-runway heating system that would use energy harvested in the summer.