19 Mar 2017

SITA moves needle on biometric airport processing

As airports move towards an increased focus on self-processing, aviation backend supplier SITA is testing out its new facial recognition Smart Path system at Brisbane Airport with partner Air New Zealand, integrated with the airport’s existing common-use checkin and processing infrastructure.

“To participate, passengers need to be travelling with a modern ePassport which contains a digital face image of the holder within the electronic chip embedded within the document,” says Sumesh Patel, president Asia Pacific. “Smart Path uses the ePassport chip image to check that the passenger creating the single travel token at the kiosk, is the correct person or passport owner.”

The system supports biometric capture at kiosks, checkin desks or bag drop. While the system does not yet work with passengers using at-home printed, mobile or wearable boarding passes, Patel says that SITA is working on developing technology to link those two processes together.

At the checkin kiosk, Patel explains, “having completed check-in as normal, using this industry standard common-use self-service check-in kiosk and airline application, passengers can enroll their biometric details to create a single travel token in just a few seconds. Once the single token has been created, it is securely stored using SITA’s single travel token management service and then used to verify the passenger’s identity at subsequent stages of the journey.”

In the event that a boarding pass is needed to access the departures area, passengers will be identified by the biometric token at this point as well, although it is questionable whether this will save time in those instances where only a boarding pass (and not identification) are required. Scanning a barcode is likely to be faster than facial recognition, although as the system develops in service it can be expected to speed up.

At boarding, “the enrolled passenger simply steps-up to the automatic gate and looks into the camera. The system captures the facial biometric and when the identity of the passenger has been verified and the airline system has approved boarding, the gate opens and the passenger can proceed to the aircraft – no need to scan any documents.”

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Source : Runway Girl Network | Kirby Media Group

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