Idemia biometrics make all passenger touchpoints contactless for Lyon’s Saint-Exupéry airport

biometric facial recognition

A biometric facial recognition solution from Idemia for contactless passenger experiences for all airport processes at the Lyon Saint-Exupéry Airport in France is set to begin on 15 October.

The solution is being supplied to the airport operator, Vinci Airports, by Idemia and leading airport systems integrator Resa Airports Data Systems (RESA) under a one-year trial of the contactless biometric solution for the management of passengers.

Announcing the development, Idemia said the solution will be run exclusively on passengers’ biometric data and will be used for virtually all airport processes involving passengers, from registration right up to aircraft boarding. It is said to be the world’s first-ever totally contactless biometrics-based passenger solution employed at any airport.

Passengers use the facial recognition service within the Lyon Airport’s new Mona smartphone app to enroll their biometrics and register for the program from their own homes, which allows them to complete all airport processes without taking out travel documents.

The facial recognition technology, coupled with latest generation automatic gates, provides a smooth, seamless and secure airport experience that factors in current social distancing measures imposed on countries by the coronavirus pandemic, Idemia says in the announcement, adding that the trial will be conducted for inter-European Union flights. Those to first enjoy the new contactless option will be passengers departing the Lyon Saint-Exupéry airport to Portugal on TAP as well as Transavia flights.

According to Idemia, the system will speed up the process of passenger registration by creating a biometric match between a selfie taken on a smartphone along with scans of their ID document and boarding card. The identity management system works with all airline systems, the providers said.

“As biometrics solutions expert, we are thrilled to deliver a world first alongside our customers Vinci Airports and Lyon Airport and our partner RESA. This trial harnesses contactless biometrics technology that gives users an unrivalled airport experience without letting up one jot on security. This bears out our capacity to constantly innovate to safeguard passenger trust and help pave the way for even smoother and more secure future travel,” said Philippe Barreau, Idemia’s Executive President for Identity and Public safety.

RESA Chief Executive, Renaud Willard, the current restrictions caused by COVID-19 forced them to rethink how to take care of passengers at airports. He said the biometric trial at Lyon means “We have shown here that passengers can pass through airport checks fully contactless and without handing over paper documents while shoring up security to boot.”

Vinci Airports France and Americas Area Director, Valérie Vesque Jeancard, hailed the move, saying it comes at a time when airports need game-changing innovations.

The current service will be subject to vetting by France’s data privacy law regulator (CNIL), after the trial. The body has however recommended the system in order to keep passenger data and rights safe.

Idemia provides both rapid and safe passenger flow solutions to countless airports around the world. RESA for its part boasts expertise in using biometric technology to authenticate airport security staff.

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