recognition technology is gaining adoption by airlines and airports to expedite
passenger identity verification. In the past year, British Airways, Air Asia,
JetBlue, Lufthansa and others have implemented biometric scanning at airports
around the world.
in order to scale this technology, there must be global consensus and
collaboration among all air transport industry stakeholders and governments that have the primary responsibility for securing their borders.
That’s one of the conclusions in a report from SITA, Biometrics
for Better Travel: An ID Management Revolution.
the report, SITA’s director of strategy and innovation, Sean Farrell, notes
that industries outside of travel are also addressing issues of identity management.
Over time this will likely lead to broader “trust frameworks” and
interoperability that will allow passengers to register a single biometric
credential to travel to every airport in every country.
are considerable efforts under way to standardize identity management driven by
many use cases such as mobile and online commerce, banking and access to
government services,” Farrell says.
standards that emerge will likely come from outside our industry with the
backing of organizations such as Google and Amazon and international government
bodies such as ICAO.”
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to SITA, 57% of passengers said they would use biometrics instead of showing a
passport or boarding pass, and 63% of airports and 43% of airlines plan to
invest in biometric identity management solutions in the next three years.
passenger numbers set to double by 2036, airlines and airports need to be able
to move passengers through these checks as securely and quickly as possible.
Efficient identity management is essential for better security while at the
same time improving the passenger experience. Biometrics is the technology that
can deliver this,” Farrell says.
to SITA’s 2017 IT Trends Insights report, airports give high priority to both
increasing security and increasing revenue. In this report, SITA notes that
while biometric boarding has a direct link to security, it can also impact
revenue since “satisfied passengers who swiftly complete the airport
checkpoints are in a better mood to spend and have more time to do so.”
airlines, the 2017 IT Trends Insights report found their interest in improving
ID management is driven primarily by a desire to improve their operational
efficiency – decreasing aircraft turn-around time – while also ensuring those
boarding have the right to board.
notes that by automating the process, biometric technology lessens the security
risks associated with manual checks.
technology can be integrated into existing infrastructure such as kiosks, bag drop
and boarding gates. However, since at most large international airports that
equipment may be shared by multiple airlines that each handle boarding
differently, the industry may need to develop standards to define that