Telos ID biometric background check service renewed by Denver airport, aviation industry shifts towards mobile contactless processing

Telos ID biometric background check service renewed by Denver airport, aviation industry shifts towards mobile contactless processing

Denver International Airport (DEN) has renewed its contract with Telos ID for aviation worker biometric background checks, according to Transportation Security Administration (TSA)-approved Designated Aviation Channeling (DAC) methods.

Telos ID says its DAC services improve data integrity and increase credentialing efficiency for reduced costs. Background checks for individuals working in secure areas of commercial airports in the U.S. are carried out with biographic and biometric information, and include subscriptions to the FBI Rap Back program. The company has provided DAC services to DEN since 2013, integrated with its identity management system. DEN is the fifth busiest airport in America.

“The DAC services deployment at Denver International Airport is notable for its size and scope, specifically the integration with DEN’s IdMS, enabling efficient biographic, biometric, and Rap Back transmissions,” said Dawn E. Lucini, vice president of aviation security, Telos ID. “We have streamlined the TSA-required aviation worker background check process, while upholding the high security and customer service standards at DEN.”

DAC services from Telos ID are encrypted and web-based, and meet TSA and DHS requirements for handling personally identifiable information (PII) and biometrics. The solution has a modular design to support different airport and carrier needs, and the unified platform can be used to perform multiple functions, according to the announcement.

“Telos ID is the recognized leader in assuring the identities of aviation workers with advanced biometric and enrollment solutions, evidenced by the growing roster of airports and airlines – 90 and counting – that currently use DAC services,” said Lucini. “We are pleased to continue our support of the City and County of Denver and its world-class airport in their efforts to provide excellence in credentialing and vetting services, all while reducing costs and providing superior customer care and flexibility.”

SITA developing app suite

Facial recognition with cloud-based mobile services is a critical technology for the aviation industry to address passenger concerns over health safety by eliminating contact with shared surfaces, SITA VP of Portfolio Management Andrew O’Connor argues in a blog post.

Fortunately, more than 460 airports are already cloud and mobile-enabled, positioning them well to deal with the new operating environment aviation stakeholders find themselves in, the post argues. In addition to being an important and quickly available win for the industry, O’Connor says putting control in the hands of travelers through their smartphones is a long-term solution.

Airport stakeholders can use APIs to build mobile apps, and SITA is developing a range of pre-packaged apps to manage processes including bag drop, bag tagging, and excess baggage weighing, with a linked contactless payment service. Mobile boarding passes are already offered by most airlines, the post points out, but virtual baggage tags are yet to reach travelers.

Frequent flyers plan return to skies – with biometrics

A solid majority of American frequent flyers (60 percent) are planning to fly within the next six months, according to a survey conducted by Xenophon Analytics.

Among them, 63 percent are planning personal travel, 10 percent plan to travel for business, and 27 percent expect to travel for both reasons. Two-thirds of those intending to travel for pleasure are planning vacations or holidays, while one-third hope to attend events like graduations, weddings or anniversaries.

Passengers also have high expectations for safety measures. This includes the use of touchless technologies like facial recognition, but also social distancing, face masks for crews and passengers alike, availability of hand sanitizer and aircraft disinfection all cited by virtually all respondents as necessary to instilling confidence in the travel process.

Contactless technology is seen by 86 percent as important to preventing the spread of contagions, and most respondents hope to see it used for check-in, baggage drop, security screening and flight boarding. Further, 68 percent said they expect the pandemic is decreasing privacy concerns related to biometrics.

Norwegian and Singaporean airports go touchless

The iris and facial recognition systems Changi Airport in Singapore began to trial late last year will be broadly deployed to replace fingerprint biometrics for touchless immigration clearance, the Straits Times reports.

Touchless self check-in and baggage drop will also be offered to minimize traveler contact with staff and surfaces. The deployment includes 160 “proximity touch screens,” which use infrared sensors to track finger movements for touchless interaction.

Face and iris biometrics became the primary means of passenger identification around April, and is in place at Changi’s Terminals 1 and 3. Fingerprints will still be used for passengers who are not enrolled with the country’s Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA), or if iris and facial recognition attempts fail. Fingerprint scanners in the airport have been coated with disinfectant material as an added precaution.

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