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Major investments in contactless biometrics at airports expected by SITA, Frost & Sullivan

Dubai launches fast-track passport checks with face and iris recognition

airport facial recognition masks

The total airport management market will reach $1.2 billion by 2030 with increasing use of contactless biometrics among its key drivers, according to a new report from Frost & Sullivan.

The consultancy estimates the market at $576.4 million in 2020.

Total airport management (TAM) in a niche concept in airport systems integration, taking in operational categories including passenger processing, airside and landside operations, safety and security, and facilities management.

Along with contactless biometrics, related trends in connected infrastructure, Big Data, AI, 5G and automation are expected to drive the market’s growth.

Biometric gates for self-boarding

Likewise, SITA’s ‘Air Transport IT Insights 2020’ report describes increased investment in automated passenger processing with touchless and mobile services, with 64 percent of airports planning to roll out biometric gates for self-boarding by 2023.

Implementations of biometric boarding have doubled, and 82 percent plan to double their investment in self-boarding with biometrics and ID documentation. Just over half (57 percent) plan to enable self-boarding gates without ID documents. Seventy-nine percent are working towards self-bag drop, and 97 percent of airlines are working on mobile applications as all essential customer services become contactless. Automated biometric boarding gates are considered a priority by 58 percent of airlines, and are a focus of 64 percent of airports for both border checks and flight boarding.

Significant IT investment areas during the year also included remote working capabilities and enhanced communication with passengers.

The report also indicates 2021 IT spending by airlines will be somewhat cautious.

Return on investment

Getting a return on investment from biometric technologies likely means finding multiple purposes for each technology procured, Arora Engineers Chief Compliance Officer Jason Shevrin writes for Passenger Terminal Today.

Biometric technologies can provide access control and security, for example, and while implementations that meet the needs of multiple agencies may be challenging, the upfront investment of time and money will be worth it in the long run, according to the editorial.

At a “medium airport hub” in the Northeastern U.S., Arora implemented a camera system to check passenger temperatures and also detect open parking spaces.

Ultimately, Shevrin says, the long-term value and utility of touchless biometric technologies are tied to the investments facilities make in backbone IT systems.

Shevrin also notes that the U.S. Transportation Security Administration does not yet recognize single-token biometrics as a valid form of credential beyond trials, and the value of airport facial recognition and body temperature-scanning systems is yet to be confirmed.

Dubai fast-tracks passport control with face and iris biometrics

Dubai airports have reached 122 biometric smart gates deployed for fast-tracked passenger passport controls with facial and iris recognition for both departures and arrivals.

The General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai (GDRFA-Dubai) says the system enables passport control procedures to be completed by pre-registered travelers in between five and nine seconds.

Vision-Box deployed face and iris biometrics to Dubai Airport’s Terminal 3 last year.

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