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Contactless biometrics and airport automation demand spiking ahead of passenger return

World Aviation Festival panelists explain why

airport facial recognition masks

Contactless biometrics and automation were already increasingly important to airport operations before the pandemic, but could be critical as passengers return with additional requirements and concerns, according to members of a panel at the World Aviation Festival.

‘How will automation, enabled by biometrics and contactless technologies become more important than ever in this COVID-19 era?’ was moderated by Pangiam VP Simon Wilcox.

Vision-Box Evangelist Jeff Lennon says biometrics and automation means “the equilibrium between security and facilitation” to the company, and that it was able to put that vision into place at borders with the help of forward-thinking partners. He also noted the importance of the end-to-end Aruba Happy Flow project.

Panelists also included representatives from Aeroporti di Roma, Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen International Airport, IGA Istanbul Airport, Japan Airlines and LocusLabs. They discussed the gains that had been made in processing times pre-pandemic, and the opportunity to improve airport infrastructure before passenger volumes return to normal.

The use of face biometrics for individual checkpoints and as a single travel token was discussed, as well as digital wallets for health status credentials.

Istanbul Airport has been using smart helmets with thermal body temperature scanners as part of its hygiene enhancement plan, as it attempts to scale back towards previous volumes. Communicating changes in airport policy and infrastructure has required additional automated communication capabilities as well, panelists noted. QR codes may play a significant role in this task.

On digital health passes, confusion dominates the market, although the various solutions on the market, with sufficient alignment, could soon meet a vital need, panelists observed.

Lennon praised the IATA Travel Pass’ use of the ICAO Digital Travel Credential layer and the Visual Digital Seal (VDS), which use existing aviation systems to support wide interoperability.

The attitudes of policy-makers towards biometrics, how to make automated processes into seamless experiences, and the airport technology investment climate were also discussed.

Pangiam recently acquired airport face biometrics platform veriScan.

Vision-Box working on biometric digital heath pass

An integration of Airside’s Digital Identity & Health Passport App with Vision-Box’s Orchestra biometric platform is also planned, Runway Girl Network reports.

The company is experiencing a spike in demand already, and with passenger volumes expected, or at least hoped to increase rapidly, airports that do not begin implementations soon may not complete them in time to prevent massive delays.

Vision-Box CEO Miguel Leitmann urges airports to act quickly to deploy biometrics and related infrastructure before the summer in an interview with Runway Girl Network.

Airport Show to focus on biometrics

Contactless technology and biometric authentication will be the focus of the 20th-edition Airport Show, set to run May 24 to 26, 2021, at the Dubai World Trade Centre.

The event is expected to include participants from 90 countries, and will consist of the Global Airport Leaders Forum (GALF), ATC Forum and Airport Security event, as well as two new events addressing Airport Passengers’ Experience and Airport Digital Transformation.

Daniyal Qureshi, director a Reed Exhibitions Middle East which is running the show, remarks in the announcement on the acceleration of the trend towards contactless passenger experiences due to the pandemic. That trend was already well established with deployments such as the ‘biometric path’ implemented by Emirates at Dubai International, and 64 percent of airports saying in SITA’s Air Transport IT Insights that they will roll out biometric self-boarding gates by 2023.

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