Biometrics Institute calls for collaboration between border agencies and aviation industry

The Biometrics Institute is advocating for tighter collaboration between border agencies and the aviation industry to promote safer air travel.

This statement, issued on Thursday, comes less than a week after stolen Austrian and Italian passports were used to book two airline tickets on the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, bringing security into question.

The Biometrics Institute is an independent body that represents the biometrics industry. The group is calling for wider-use of biometric technology to verify travelers’ identities at check-in and departure.

“Locking identity down on arrival and departure supported by biometric checks against watch-lists is the future,” Isabelle Moeller, CEO of the Biometrics Institute said. “This ideally needs to happen at check-in and again at departure gates.”

Automated Border Control (ABC) gates, for example, can be used to compare a live facial image to data stored in an e-passport.

A range of biometric modalities can be used, including iris, fingerprint and face to improve air safety, according to the Biometrics Institute. Fingerprints can be used at borders to check large watch-list databases in real time, and can also be used for data matching bewteen immigration agencies internationally.

“It is the interests of our members and society at large to ensure that biometrics are implemented responsibly and are privacy positive,” Moeller said. “Biometrics offer opportunities to make travel safer but some risks will always remain.”

The Biometrics Institute is not the only biometrics organization to come out with a statement following the missing Malaysian flight. Earlier this week, as reported in BiometricUpdate.com, Secure Identity & Biometrics Association called for full and immediate implementation of biometric passports and borders, including a biometric exit program in the US. 

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