(Bloomberg) -- Heathrow Airport will allow passengers to pre-book security-gate time slots on a trial basis, as London’s biggest hub looks for ways to cut massive queues that develop at peak travel times.

The free program starting Tuesday at Terminal 3 may be rolled out more widely depending on the results of a six-month test, Heathrow said in a statement. It will initially be open to passengers of American Airlines Group Inc., Delta Air Lines Inc., Emirates and Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd. 

“This new trial will give passengers that extra added bit of certainty and reassurance ahead of their journey,” Mark Powell, Heathrow’s operational planning director, said in the statement. “We think it will be particularly popular for those with families or nervous travellers who may want a bit more confidence in their journeys.”

The goal is to reduce waiting times and allow the airport to plan resources more effectively, Heathrow said. Airports have been particularly challenged by the rapid return of passenger traffic after the Covid-19 pandemic. Last summer, Heathrow capped passenger numbers and asked airlines to limit ticket sales. 

While this summer went better, Heathrow had nearly 40% of flights delayed in June according to one recent study. 

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--With assistance from Kate Duffy.

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