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New airport biometrics adoption trends: Idemia, AirAsia, viisights, BioSec

Biometric passenger touchpoint increase of 320 percent expected over next decade
New airport biometrics adoption trends: Idemia, AirAsia, viisights, BioSec

The adoption of biometric technology in airports is rapidly increasing, with new data by Valour Consultancy suggesting an increase of biometrically-enabled passenger touchpoints in airports of 320 percent over the next decade. Also this week, Idemia announced a 12 million Transportation Security Administration (TSA) PreCheck enrollment milestone and signed a contract for strategic projects in Oman. In addition, AirAsia recently unveiled a new face recognition system for travel, Raytheon Security (RTX) deployed viisights’ Wise behavioral analytics, and Biosec announced that its palm vein recognition based system is currently being tested at several European airports.

The ‘Seamless Passenger Journey in Smart Airports’ Report

The report from Valour predicted the number of biometrically-enabled passenger touchpoints in airports to rise to almost 51,000 by 2030 (from 12,079 at the end of 2020).

According to the consultancy, the shift will be driven by airlines and airport operators working to modernize the sector, as well as improving operational efficiency and making travel safer.

“Most of us will be familiar with a biometric face scan when we use automated border control (ABC) eGates and this kind of technology will increasingly be found in check-in kiosks, self-bag drop machines, and other eGates going forward,” explained study co-author John Devlin.

The report also suggests self-bag drop will generate $502 million in revenues over the 10-year forecast period. Biometric integration in self-bag drop is currently quite low at just 14 percent but is set to grow rapidly over the next few years.

“There exists a sizable installed base of non-biometric units in certain key markets like Europe, many of which will be upgraded to include biometrics as privacy concerns are overcome and stakeholders look to further improve passenger processing times,” said co-author Craig Foster.

Idemia announces new milestones, enters Seeracom partnership

Idemia has recently confirmed it has reached 12 million enrollments and three million renewals processed in the TSA PreCheck program.

The company first became a TSA authorized enrollment provider in 2013, with the goal of speeding up screening processes in airports.

Today, the company’s digital fingerprint and identity authentication solutions are reportedly used in more than 450 enrollment centers across the U.S.

“Last week, TSA announced that not only can renewals be completed entirely online in 5-10 minutes, but when they are, the cost is reduced to only $70 for five years, further improving the already great value and customer experience,” said Idemia’s CEO Donnie Scott.

Detailing developments in biometric technologies during the pandemic, Idemia has also explained how lockdowns have increased the need for trusted and secure digital ID solutions. The pandemic has also highlighted the need for contactless solutions, according to Idemia, particularly at airports and in the office.

The post then asked companies and government agencies to improve their databases’ comprehensiveness to tackle gender and demographic biases and concluded with a call for more transparency and education on biometric data storage.

Earlier this month, Idemia also partnered with Seeracom, an Oman-based turnkey integrator, to deliver new biometric systems to the country’s airports, as reported by the Times of Oman. 

AirAsia updates app to include face biometrics capabilities

The airline recently resumed interstate operations, as it simultaneously renewed efforts in digital processes for travel.

According to Paxex Aero, all passengers using the AirAsia app will now be able to check-in directly via the app, which now also features vaccine passport capabilities connected to national vaccination records.

AirAsia is also officially launching the FACES (Fast Airport Clearance Experience System) facial recognition system in the coming weeks. FACES has been developed by the airline in collaboration with Vision-Box and integrates the company’s Orchestra Identity Management System.

Originally used internally for employees, the biometric system will be now gradually deployed for passengers at AirAsia terminals.

RTX selects viisights for airport cargo security evaluation

TSA contracted RTX (Raytheon Security) to select and evaluate next-generation security solutions for airports and in order to do so, RTX  deployed viisights’ advanced video and behavioral analytics tools for cargo security at various airports across the U.S.

The twelve-month evaluation will see the use of the solution to identify suspicious behavior, vehicle traffic congestion, crowd density and human proximity, perimeter protection, and people or parcels in restricted areas.

Viisights’ technology is already available in most airports, with Raytheon planning to keep the viisights behavioral analytics solution in place after the initial evaluation period.

BioSec’s palm biometrics undergoes testing in EU airports

According to BioSec, the new biometric technology is currently undergoing testing at European airports where fingerprint recognition has been used so far.

The technology underwent a four-month trial with airport employees, with the majority saying they preferred palm biometrics to fingerprint readers.

Among the factors behind these data is the awareness of palm biometrics being a more advanced system, as well as easier to use.

The biometric system also comes in a contactless version, which has been almost unanimously described as ‘very useful’ in combating the effects of the pandemic.

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