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Thales rolls out airport biometrics in Spain, SITA wins touchless makeover contract for Sydney

CBP biometrics and TSA ID document scanners reach new airports

airport facial recognition masks

Thales has partnered with European digital services leader Inetum to provide more than 45 biometric Automatic Border Control (ABC) gates at Valencia and Bilbao airports to help Spain’s National Police officers simplify their operations.

Facial recognition and automatic document authentication technology will be provided by Thales, while Inetum implements manual verifiers and a real-time monitoring system, according to the announcement. The companies worked together on installation and integration.

The biometric smart access points began operation last July, and 36 ABC gates are now being rolled out at Fuerteventura airport.

“This technology eases passenger management at borders by verifying the traveler’s identity and travel documents, including biometric checks. The new system ultimately speeds up the identification process,” explains Inetum Deputy General Manager for Iberia and Latam areas Juan Carlos Crespo.

“We are proud to support the work of the National Police and AENA, by creating a safe and agile airport environment, without compromising the traveller experience,” says Jesús Sánchez Bargos, country director and CEO of Thales Spain.

SITA wins contract for Sydney Airport pandemic recovery makeover

SITA has won a five-year contract with Sydney Airport to provide contactless technology for COVID-19 recovery.

The project, which went live on March 1, includes the installation of 600 common-use touchpoints in its international and domestic terminals, as well as implementing SITA Flex and SITA Bag Message.

SITA Flex provides a platform for replacing check-in, gate boarding, and service desk interactions with contactless processes, and can be integrated with existing infrastructure.

Face biometrics have been used at Sydney Airport for various processes.

“We understand the harsh impact of COVID-19 on airports globally and we’ve adapted our solutions to deliver airport operations that are resilient, agile, and highly cost-efficient,” says SITA APAC President Sumesh Patel. “SITA’s goal is to provide best-in-class technology solutions and to help Sydney Airport reshape its value proposition to all its stakeholders. A key element is to ensure maximum use of existing assets and technology infrastructure.”

“In SITA we have found a partner that shares our strong focus on improving the passenger experience, and we’re looking forward to working with them as the aviation industry recovers,” comments Sydney Airport General Manager Technology, Data, and Digital, Sidone Thomas.

SITA says it is providing similar services to five of the seven largest airports in the Australia Pacific region.

CBP biometrics deployed in Philly and San Juan, TSA ID document checks in Buffalo

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has deployed face biometrics to Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) and Luis Muñoz Marin International Airport with the implementation of its Simplified Arrival program.

In addition to providing a touchless travel experience, the implementation fulfills a longstanding Congressional mandate to use biometrics to record the entry and exit of all non-U.S. citizens visiting the country, CBP says.

“CBP is excited to partner with Aerostar to deliver a secure, efficient, and seamless process for identity verification for travelers arriving into the United States,” said Gregory Alvarez, Director of San Juan Field Operations. “CBP’s public-private partnerships to expand facial biometrics are essential to enhancing security and streamlining travel while protecting the privacy of all travelers.”

“The timing of the Simplified Arrival program couldn’t be better in Philadelphia, with increased international travel ramping up for the summer season,” adds Chellie Cameron, PHL CEO. “The convenience, accuracy and speed of this touchless program will streamline the passenger experience while preparing us for the introduction of our outbound biometric exit program in 2022.”

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has launched its credential authentication technology (CAT) to Buffalo Niagara International Airport, in the form of document scanners supplied by Idemia, though it is not the biometric ‘CAT-C’ version TSA has trialled.

The CAT device confirms the validity of travelers’ ID and confirms flight details in “near real time,” TSA says. The deployment also allows passengers to skip handing over a boarding pass, either paper or digital, eliminating a touchpoint from the travel journey. Boarding passes will only be requested for people under 18, or those with ID issues.

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