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Passenger satisfaction with airport biometrics high, more systems rolling out

Passenger satisfaction with airport biometrics high, more systems rolling out

Airport biometrics deployments are benefitting passengers who use them, and passenger willingness to do so is increasing in turn. New deployments of SITA and Clear biometrics have been announced, meanwhile, and a Nigerian airport is launching face biometrics, while Genetec has developed an employee badging solution including biometric background checks for the aviation industry.

It appears that biometrics use is improving airport experiences for early adopters, and nearly three out of four passengers (73 percent) would share their biometric data if it does so, according to the 2021 Global Passenger Survey from the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

Only 36 percent say they have used biometrics for air travel, but among them, 86 percent are satisfied with the experience, according to IATA. Over 50 percent of respondents are concerned about data breaches (56 percent), however, as well as who data is shared with (52 percent) and how it is processed (51 percent).

Back in 2019, only 46 percent of respondents were willing to share their biometrics to improve airport processes.

The survey also indicates that 88 percent would be willing to share information before their journey to expedite immigration checks.

Flight boarding lineups remain the area the most people want to see improvement in, with 55 percent identifying it as the top priority, while 41 percent would like security screening to improve.

“Passengers have spoken and want technology to work harder, so they spend less time ‘being processed’ or standing in queues. And they are willing to use biometric data if it delivers this result. Before traffic ramps-up, we have a window of opportunity to ensure a smooth return to travel post pandemic and deliver long-term efficiency improvements for passengers, airlines, airports and governments,” states Nick Careen, IATA’s SVP for Operations, Safety and Security.

SITA biometrics for check-in and bag tags in Frankfurt, Clear lanes in Palm Beach

Biometric self check-in and bag tag kiosks from SITA have been deployed across Frankfurt Airport’s Terminals 1 and 2 to give passengers choice and reduce close physical interactions with airline employees.

The 86 SITA TS6 kiosks have been integrated with SITA Flex and deployed across the airport for a unified experience with multiple airlines, according to the announcement.

“Offering passengers innovative, safer, and smarter ways to travel while also ensuring we have resilient and efficient airport operations is vital as our industry recovers from the impact of the pandemic,” Dr. Pierre-Dominique Prümm, executive director of Aviation and Infrastructure at Fraport says. “SITA supports us in achieving this ambition, and we look forward to welcoming more passengers back to the skies.”

Just as peak travel season hits the U.S., Clear’s fingerprint and iris biometrics have been deployed to Palm Beach International Airport to speed up security checks, The Palm Beach Post reports.

One Clear lane has been set up at the Concourse A/B security checkpoint, while two have been deployed in Concourse C, one of which is for TSA PreCheck members.

The Transportation Security Administration, incidentally, has also signed up El Al Israel Airlines and Global Crossing to its list of participating international TSA PreCheck carriers. Idemia recently reached a milestone of 12 million PreCheck enrollments.

A Palm Beach International official says the airport now has similar passenger volumes to 2019.

Kano plans biometric system to strengthen airport security

The government of Nigeria’s Kano state has approved a budget for the deployment of a face biometric system to bolster security in the domestic and international wings of the Malam Aminu Kano International Airport.

As reports Daily Trust, the state Commissioner of Information, Muhammad Garba, announced that the budget for the facial recognition project was approved recently during a state executive council meeting. The amount approved is N89.9 million (about US$220,000).

The Commissioner told reporters during a briefing that the move is part of efforts by the state government to enhance security around the airport, and keep it at the same level as other modern airports in terms of counter-terrorism and the easy tracking of criminals on the ‘wanted list.’

Genetec develops employee background check solution

The new Airport Badging Solution (ABS) from Genetec provides management capabilities for fingerprint biometric checks and all other aspects of the airport employee credentialing to support compliance with TSA regulations.

The company says TSA Insider Threat Program compliance checks often leave airports, and particularly smaller operations, scrambling for documentation.

The turnkey solution includes automated fingerprint biometrics as part three in a seven-step background check and badging process.

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