October 5, 2012 -
According to SITA, a specialist in air transport communications and information technology, boarding passes for air travel may soon be obsolete, thanks to biometric self-boarding, bag drops and luggage tracking applications.
Currently, passengers use a barcode on their boarding cards to access their flight at a boarding gate. Biometric self-boarding will essentially replace the boarding pass with iris, face or fingerprint scanning.
“Soon you won’t need your boarding pass,” said Andre Oeyen, Director of Biometric Business Development, Government and Security Solutions at SITA, in an interview in GulfNews.com. “We are in talks with airlines and airports in the Persian Gulf region to launch biometric self-boarding in the first half of 2013.”
SITA understands that governments need to quickly and accurately confirm that each traveler is who they claim to be. A consistent and accurate view of traveler identities across border management operations improves security by preventing identity fraud. It also speeds up the border crossing for the majority of travelers.
To address this, the firm offers a product entitled “iBorders BioThenticate”, a biometric identity and credential management framework providing sophisticated identity management and verification services. It delivers irrefutable proof of identity in high security environments such as border control at airports.
iBorders BioThenticate combines enrollment, verification, identification and credential issuance and is built around a single person-centric database of identities.
iBorders BioThenticate allows governments to successfully implement biometrics within an end-to-end border management strategy. With iBorders BioThenticate, the combination of risk assessment using airline provided passenger data with effective identity management becomes straightforward.
SITA is also aiming to provide new features to air travelers including self-bag drop and luggage tracking smartphone applications. The apps will allow travelers to watch where their bags are in real-time and even receive information about which carousel their bags will arrive on.
SITA made these comments about its services at the recent ICT Aviation Forum in Dubai. However, the firm did not confirm which countries or airports it is negotiation with concerning the rollout of its services.