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Idemia brings biometrics to Barcelona airport via Aena partnership

SITA, Digi Yatra trials wrap up and Clear expands
Idemia brings biometrics to Barcelona airport via Aena partnership

Idemia has entered a new partnership with Spanish airport operator Aena to deploy its biometric technology at Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat Airport (BCN) for flight boarding.

The trial started on Wednesday, enabling passengers to board domestic flights to Malaga with budget carrier Vueling, based at El Prat, without the need for physical documents.

Their face biometrics are added to the system beforehand via enrollment kiosks or a dedicated mobile app. On reaching airport security, passengers simply pass through the facial recognition system, which allows them access to their flight.

From a privacy standpoint, customers choosing to utilize the service need to agree that their biometric data will be shared with Aena, but the company clarified the information will be deleted after take-off.

“Idemia’s algorithms are proven to be highly accurate, thereby offering the best security for all parties involved and a fast and easy passenger journey,” comments the company’s SVP of Europe, Public Security and Identity, Pascal Fallet.

“Vueling and Aena will benefit from accurate passenger identification using Idemia’s best-in-class biometric engine.”

The new trial program marks the company’s latest biometrics project on airport security and convenience, with Idemia deploying one of its first facial recognition systems in Singapore’s Changi Airport in 2019.

More recently, Idemia provided biometric technologies for trials in France, the U.S., and  Brazil.

Deployments and trials

A trial of facial recognition technology for airport processing in line with IATA’s ‘One ID’ vision has been completed at Taoyuan International Airport in Taiwan, Focus Taiwan reports, with the technology proving suitable for wider adoption.

The initial trial was launched last month, and appears to utilize biometric devices supplied by SITA.

Following the trial, which included roughly 700 passengers, or 56 percent of those eligible, the system is now being deployed to a pair of gates in Taoyuan Terminal 2 under a program set to run until August 2022.

SITA’s deployment of 100 biometric touchpoints at Kuala Lumpur International Airport has been completed, according to a company announcement, including the company’s wireless TS6 kiosks.

A total of seven airports in India have completed their initial tests of the Digi Yatra biometric airport system, Odisha Diary writes. Varanasi, Pune, Kolkata and Vijayawada airports, all operated by the Airports Authority of India (AAI), and Hyderabad, Bangalore and Delhi airports operated by joint ventures have all tested the system for registration on the day of travel.

A written note presented in the Lok Sabha suggests the AAI intends to invest 250 billion rupees (roughly US$3.3 billion) to expand the system over the next four to five years.

The system is expected to reach full production at selected airports in 2022.

Clear has launched three expedited security lanes at John Glenn Columbus International Airport (CMH), and says its latest expansion will create 50 jobs in the area.

The company is also expanding its push for consumer sign-ups to retail stores, with The Wall Street Journal reporting temporary installations for biometrics enrollment in New York and San Francisco. Clear has signed up 8.1 million people for its $179 annual membership, as of the end of its third fiscal quarter, up 58 percent from Q3 2020.

A company representative said the ‘pop-ups’ also help to increase customer comfort with using their biometrics.

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