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The global civil aviation industry is expected to gradually recover from the COVID pandemic and reach $1.09 trillion by 2028 according to a new study by Grand View Research. Domestic air travel is recovering more quickly than international, and airports and airlines alike are attempting to improve the passenger journey through the terminal with touchless biometric technologies.
In October last year, Emirates was the first the launch an integrated “biometric path” into its facilities at Dubai International airport, so that passengers can have a contactless experience when travelling through its terminals.
Starting from specific check-in areas and ending at boarding gates, the innovation aims to improve traveller flow through the airport by requiring fewer manual document checks and less queuing.
The biometric path uses a mixture of facial and iris recognition technology to verify passengers’ identity when they check-in, complete immigration, enter an Emirates lounge or board their flight. The idea is to create a more hygienic, contactless way to move through the airport, by reducing human interaction throughout the process.
During the viral age, of course, people will need to remove their face masks for the technology to work, making it slightly less streamlined than desired.
In Europe, Paris Orly Airport started trialling a biometric passenger journey, from entering the terminal to boarding. Airport owners Groupe ADP and airline Transavia worked with Idemia to develop the two-step process. At check-in, passengers scan their boarding pass and ID then look at a camera for a facial scan. Then at boarding, simply facial recognition verification is required
The partners are hoping to make the “Smart Airport” passenger journey smoother, simpler and contactless. Personal data is deleted from the airport system after take-off. The trial will be developed further in the fall with the participation of another airline.
In the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) are implementing Simplified Arrival for international passengers arriving at Kansas City International Airport.
The biometric system uses facial recognition to compare travel document pictures with a photo taken on arrival. The system may mean it is not necessary to take fingerprints. Photos taken of U.S. citizens are deleted within 12 hours whereas those of foreigners are kept in a Department of Homeland Security system.
Siemens and SITA are contributing future-proof, scalable technologies for Kansas City International’s new 39-gate terminal, dubbed KCI. Cloud-based common-use platform SITA Flex will enable passengers to check-in through a biometric scan at a self-service kiosk and then again use their faces to board.
Terminal journey and information points will be touchless and designed to help staff, as well as passengers, navigate the million square foot new building.
In Malaysia at Kuala Lumpur International Airport Passengers will also benefit from contactless journeys through the terminal as it brings in a single-token initiative for facial recognition.
The airport along with Kuching International Airport also held by Malaysia Airports Holdings have achieved Airport Health Accreditation by the Airports Council International.
The group’s Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen International Airport achieved the status last year and four more airports in Malaysia are being assessed. The group hope this will further instil confidence in flying.
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