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Gatwick reveals major investment in biometric e-gates ahead of FTE Global 2019



A £1.1 billion (US$1.3 billion) five-year investment program including biometric e-gates for passenger boarding has been unveiled by Gatwick Airport, Airport-technology.com reports.

The airport’s Capital Investment Programme (CIP) includes the Pier 6 western extension, which is expected to enable half a million passengers to board and disembark from aircraft via kiosks. Gatwick will also invest in automated systems for baggage re-flighting and a robot valet parking service.

Gatwick confirmed that it would begin a second trial of facial biometrics in May, after running a trial of an end-to-end biometric system with easyJet in 2018.

The announcement comes just ahead of FTE Global 2019, which will be hosted by Future Travel Experience from September 4 to 6 in Las Vegas, including a dedicated Biometrics Summit sponsored by NEC.

Future Travel Experience spoke to representatives of British Airways, Lufthansa, Kempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru (KIAB), Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA), Delta Air Lines, SITA and NEC ahead of the event to discuss the development of the seamless biometric air travel journey.

Challenges including lack of legislation, the need to protect privacy, and how to build systems to work with existing infrastructure are discussed, along with different approaches to these issues.

Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) CIO Goutam Kundu says all stakeholders must work in concert to make the technology deliver the intended benefits, but each have different systems and degrees of maturity.

“So, the real driving force behind the seamless experience is a trust framework that all stakeholders agree upon: the guiding principles on biometric handshake, token verification and so on,” he says. “This framework is even more important than biometrics, which is the enabler that uses the framework.”

FTE Global 2019 will feature four conference tracks and expert speakers from across the travel industry, under the conference theme of ‘Transformation.’ The FTE Biometrics Summit will present case studies and lessons learned by early adopters of airport biometrics, with participation by leading airports and airlines, as well as Biometrics Institute and U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA). TSA, Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and McCarren International Airport will also hold briefings, workshops, and tours in support of the Summit.

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