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Aviation industry stakeholders and biometrics partners consider way forward as TSA pilots fever checks

Aviation industry stakeholders and biometrics partners consider way forward as TSA pilots fever checks

Airports and airlines developing their own biometric systems could duplicate systems unnecessarily and create barriers to integration, according to an article in Airports Council International publication Airport World. Instead, stakeholders should be looking for ways to share technology so customers are not forced to constantly reenroll their biometrics.

The argument is applied broadly to aviation IT, not just biometrics. How to go about adopting services from third-party services is explored, including the different factors that may lead to different kinds of implementations to meet airports’ needs.

Cloud computing and SaaS adoption can help airports scale, the article argues, noting that Baku Airport in Azerbaijan became the first fully cloud-based airport last year.

Clear is launching a home-to-gate travel app to support an “all-in-one touchless experience” as it prepares for the future of air travel, CEO Caryn Seidman-Becker said at a recent Axios virtual event. The company has also developed an app for sharing lab results with biometrics.

Comparing the effect of the pandemic on the aviation industry to that of 9/11, Seidman-Becker says consumer confidence in places like stadiums and workplaces can be restored with biometrics and linked information.

“I think what you are going to see, not only in travel, which was deeply impacted by 9/11, but across so many industries that are having the same structural problems, bringing back both their employees and their customers … is the need for this multilayered approach using innovation and technology like biometrics,” Axios quotes Seidman-Becker as saying.

While airlines will reconsider fleet sizes as they return to operation, over the longer term economic pressures will motivate a search for operational cost efficiencies, likely involving touchless biometrics and mobile digital identity, according to a blog post by Sita VP of Portfolio Management Andrew O’Connor.

Mobile-enabled journeys based on cloud infrastructure and touchless technologies like mobile and self-service biometrics through smartphones can enable agility and cost efficiency beyond legacy infrastructures, while the adoption of life-long portable credentials based on self-sovereign identity protect privacy, O’Connor writes.

Sita has also published a white paper on “Border Solutions to Mitigate Public Health Risks,” and a pair of positioning papers titled “Stay Connected to Your Passengers” about omnichannel cloud communications, and “Enabling the Low-Touch Airport,” which details the company’s vision for biometrically-enabled airports of the future.

A webinar on enhancing safety and security in the aviation industry with biometrics will be presented by Convergint Technologies along with AnyVision on Thursday, May 21 at 1:00pm EST.

The “Aviation Live Event: Safety and Security with Facial and People Recognition from AnyVision” features Convergint Aviation Market-Account Executive Alyssa Mathes and AnyVision National Accounts Director Tifani Templin.

TSA considers temperature checks

The U.S. TSA, meanwhile, is considering launching temperature checks at around 12 airports to ease passenger concerns, The Wall Street Journal reports

A senior official with the White House says the initial roll out of temperature-taking technology will cost less than $20 million, and will not involve an additional fee for passengers. Devices would likely include devices that can scan multiple people at once and hand-held devices, with travelers registering a temperature over 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit flagged, according to a plan under review by the White House.

The TSA conducted a temperature screening trial at Dulles International in April, but some members of Congress say the checks have no legal basis, and that TSA employees should not be put at risk for a project that may provide a false sense of security to travelers.

The TSA is concerned, however, about whether the task falls within it scope. The Journal also reports that more than 500 TSA employees have tested positive for COVID-19 so far.

A privately-owned airport in Everett, Washington has already implemented temperature checks, but the information is only provided to the traveler’s airline to use as it sees fit, according to The Journal.

Air travel demand is reported to have fallen by 90 percent amid global lockdowns and travel restrictions.

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