Airlines and airports are planning major investment in biometric identity management in the next three years.
The research from SITA is part of its IT Air Transport Industry Insight report shows more than 70% of airports and airlines are either planning major programs or research and development initiatives on biometric ID management.
Early proponents of the technology include Finnair, JetBlue and KLM who all trialled facial recognition for check-in or boarding last year.
A number of airports have also implemented the technology including Miami International which offers facial recognition passport screening for international arrivals.
According to SITA, identity verification at self-service check-in kiosks is already available at 41% of airports with 74% planning to implement the technology by 2022.
The use of self-boarding gates, which match biometrics information with travel documents, will also increase with 59% of airports and 63% of airlines saying they expect to use them.
Challenges to implementing the technology include integration, a lack of technological standards and government and regulatory requirements.
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Earlier this year, SITA published a report on biometrics in ID management highlighting the need for cross-industry and government collaboration.
The report also touched on the likelihood of companies such as Amazon and Google having a role to play in emerging standards.
The aviation industry is also exploring the potential for blockchain in identity management with more than a third of airlines and airports seeing benefits in reducing the number of ID checks that passengers currently go through.
The 2018 IT report also reveals that technology investment is on the up with airlines predicted to devote 3.67% of revenue to IT and airports 5.69% of revenue in 2018.
Additional technologies carriers are investing in include artificial intelligence with 84% of airlines planning major or R&D programs by 2021 compared to 52% in 2017.
Airports are also investing in AI with 61% planning a major program or R&D over the next three years, compared to 34% last year.
Use cases differ however with airlines exploring AI usage for chatbots and virtual agents while airports are looking to the technology for predictive analysis.
Further investment priorities highlighted by the report reveal cybersecurity for both airlines and airports while airports also want to improve self-service technology and airlines are looking to increase mobile services.