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Airport biometrics update: NEC collaborates with Japan Airlines, Vision-Box in Dubai, biometric entry at LAX

Spirit Airlines launches facial recognition, Collins Aerospace makes kiosks touchless
Airport biometrics update: NEC collaborates with Japan Airlines, Vision-Box in Dubai, biometric entry at LAX

A series of new deployments of airport biometrics have been announced, including technologies from NEC and Vision-Box. Collins Aerospace, meanwhile, has launched a solution to make kiosks, biometric or otherwise, completely touchless.

Japan Airlines and NEC are collaborating on several trials of biometrics and video analysis for safe and secure airport processes in compliance with ‘new normal’ recommendations.

The joint project is meant to reduce waiting and create a stress-free travel experience, and includes three deployments of biometric technology. Customers can use a digital sign to take a commemorative photo, and if registered with the “IoT Omotenashi Service Demonstration,” receive the photo in a registered email address through facial authentication. This trial began at Nanki Shirahama Airport in early September.

A second deployment of visual signage will provide waiting time visualization for baggage pick-ups for registered travellers, and is planned for the same airport in October.

The companies also plan to install handheld non-contact face authentication devices for payment authorization at a ‘Blue Sky’ airport store in Haneda Airport at the end of October.

New deployments in U.S. and Dubai

Spirit Airlines has launched biometric facial recognition for passenger check-ins at Chicago O’Hare and New York LaGuardia airports, The Points Guy reports.

Passengers must scan their ID first, and then consent to a face scan by a Spirit kiosk. Spirit claims to be the first airline to offer the service for domestic travelers, and the airline expects to receive approval from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to eliminate manual document checks from the process soon.

The process has already been tested by Spirit with international travelers over the past few months.

Eventually, the airline believes 90 percent of its customers to use the self-bag drop service, which it says is 30 percent or 70 seconds faster, eventually.

The Points Guy notes that while boarding processes with Spirit still include a manual document check, it will likely switch this process to facial recognition soon as well, following similar moves by American Airlines, Delta and JetBlue.

Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) has introduced Biometric Exit processes, and is planning to launch ‘Simplified Arrival,’ or biometric entry, to expand its biometric traveler experience.

The expansion is being carried out through a partnership between U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Los Angeles World of Airports (LAWA), which operates LAX. The partners have also installed plexiglass barriers and implemented various safety and hygiene measures to combat the spread of COVID-19.

Biometric Exit went live at LAX on August 10, and the groundwork is being laid for Simplified Arrival, which involves a facial biometric match. The Global Entry process is also being modernized, with the elimination of passport and biometric fingerprint scans at kiosks. CBP says the new Global Entry process cuts the processing time of preapproved travelers by 90 percent, from 45 seconds to less than 6 per person.

“Los Angeles World Airports and our partners are investing in biometrics and other cutting-edge technology that reduces contact among travelers and streamlines the overall travel experience to make the airport journey quicker, safer, more comfortable and enjoyable,” states LAWA Chief Executive Officer Justin Erbacci. “We are proud to work closely with U.S. Customs and Border Protection as we use this new technology to provide faster, easier and more secure passenger processing.”

Passengers departing Dubai Airport’s Terminal 3 can now use smart gates from Vision-Box with biometric iris recognition, according to a Linkedin post. Gulf News reports that the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) launched the gates to operation as part of its measures for curbing the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Traffic has been increasing at the airport since lockdown restrictions were eased, and new visitors to the country can be registered for the smart gates and the airport’s smart tunnel on arrival.

Vision-Box also presented during a recent webinar from the World Travel & Tourism Council. CEO Miguel Leitmann spoke about the role of contactless and seamless technologies in the travel industry’s recovery during the webinar on ‘The Future of Travel & Tourism.’

Leitmann says Vision-Box had about 80 projects underway, and while some have been delayed, none have been cancelled.

Collins solution enables kiosk use through passenger’s device

Collins Aerospace has launched a new kiosk solution to allow travelers to use their mobile device to avoid contact with common surfaces, according to a company announcement.

The new Kiosk Connect solution lets travelers scan a QR code with their mobile device to complete check-in and other processes without touching the kiosk itself or downloading a dedicated app. Boarding passes and baggage tags can be produced through the solution, while Collins Aerospace’s ARINC Selfpass can provide a biometric token for completing all processes along a touchless passenger journey with a facial biometric match completed in seconds.

“When combined with our secure biometric solutions and self-service airport products, this new feature enables travelers to experience a contactless airport journey all the way from check-in to boarding,” says LeAnn Ridgeway, vice president and general manager, Information Management Services for Collins Aerospace. “As we work to help the aviation industry rebuild passenger confidence in flying, it’s incredibly important to us to provide solutions to improve safety and which are easy to use.”

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