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SITA, NEC and Star Alliance partner to extend touchless biometrics across airlines

Systems roll out at Milan and LAX

airport facial recognition masks

A partnership has been formed by SITA, NEC and Star Alliance to expand the use of biometric identity for touchless traveler journeys across the latter’s member airlines.

Passengers who are members of Star Alliance members’ Frequent Flyer programs will be able to complete touchless processes with any other participating airline using their face biometrics.

The partnership is intended to accelerate the availability of biometric self-service touchpoints in airports around the world.

The Star Alliance biometrics platform, which is based on NEC I:Delight, will be connected to SITA’s Smart Path solution, enabling the use of SITA infrastructure in more than 460 airports. I:Delight and Smart Path are easily integrated, the partners say. The partnership allows passengers to enroll once, and then use their biometrics across multiple touchpoints and multiple member airlines and participating airports, using only their face as a boarding pass.

“This agreement is instrumental in bringing further scale to our biometrics service, with the inherent benefits of speed and meeting customer expectations for a more touchless and hygienically safer experience across all of our member airlines,” says Star Alliance CEO Jeffrey Goh. “Biometrics is a key element of that experience and our strategy of leading the way in digitalizing the passenger journey.”

The partners say the integration will help speed up passage through the airport and support COVID-19 mitigation and hygiene measures by reducing physical document exchanges. It will also allow multiple biometric projects to be delivered in parallel, according to the announcement.

“Together with NEC, SITA is pleased to be supporting Star Alliance in bringing the full benefits of biometric identity to their member airlines,” comments SITA CEO Barbara Dalibard. “Passengers have long welcomed the advantages of control and speed automation brings to the passenger journey; a trend that has been accelerated by COVID-19. With this agreement the benefits of biometric identity will be extended from a single airline or journey to a vast network of airlines. That is truly unique and demonstrates the benefits digital identity can bring to the passenger.”

Rollouts continue at Milan and LAX

A slate of new self-service and biometric technologies have been unveiled at Milano Linate Airport, including biometric flight boarding, self-bag drop and enhanced security scans, Future Travel Experience reports.

SEA Group put €40 million (US$48.5 million) into the upgrades as part of a 10,000 square-metre terminal expansion. The check-in, security and retail areas have also been redesigned.

The new Terminal 1 extension at Los Angeles International Airport has opened, touchless self-service check-in kiosks from Materna IPS (Intelligent Passenger Solutions), according to Homeland Security Today.

The kiosks are currently used by Frontier Airlines customers, and Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) is in talks to expand their use to other airlines.

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