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Easier queues with biometrics, touchless check-ins set to reach more airports

Easier queues with biometrics, touchless check-ins set to reach more airports

An acquisition by Clear, a super app service developed with Vision-Box, and the growth of HID Global’s airport IAM platform all seem to indicate a future for airport experiences with less waiting around, though perhaps not for those unwilling to keep their masks on. NEC India’s revenue from the first stage of the biometric Digi Yatra program has been revealed, meanwhile.

Clear acquisition signals next steps

Clear has acquired Argentinian virtual line-up and appointments provider Whyline to help air passengers reduce their queueing times and expand its biometric identity check business, writes Skift.

Whyline has previously raised $5.6 million in funding.

Clear CEO Caryn Seidman-Becker says the acquisition gives the company a lead position in airport reservation lanes, with contracts or tests at airports in Los Angeles, Seattle, Newark, Charleston, Orlando and Calgary.

Seidman-Becker further suggests that Whyline’s existing partnerships in Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Peru and Canada will benefit Clear’s international expansion, and notes the deal further extends the biometric identity provider’s portfolio that could be applicable to industries beyond travel, such as retail and public sector services.

The amount of the all-cash transaction was not disclosed.

Behave or have TSA PreCheck revoked

The U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is threatening to revoke the PreCheck membership of unruly passengers who assault airport staff, gate agents or flight crews, according to Travel Market Report.

The move comes in the form of an agreement between the Federal Aviation Administration and the TA to share information.

The attempt to find new enforcement measures has been prompted by a growing number of incidents involving childish and unruly passengers. The FAA levied more than a million dollars in fines over nearly 4,000 incidents, three-quarters of them related to mask-wearing requirements.

AirAsia biometric app to enable touchless airport processes

AirAsia will introduce contactless check-ins for passengers through its biometric Super App in the first quarter of 2022, reports The Philippine Star, citing an interview with One News Agenda.

An AirAsia Philippines spokesperson said the app’s FACES capability will allow passengers to use face biometrics for identification at security and boarding gates, eliminating the need to produce a physical boarding pass or ID document.

FACES integrates Vision-Box’ Orchestra Identity Management System.

The airline hopes to encourage broad use of the optional capability.

Digi Yatra contract details revealed

The cost of equipping four Indian airports with facial recognition technology is an estimated 1.65 billion rupees (approximately US$22.2 million), the Airports Authority of India said in response to a Right to Information request.

India Today reports that the deployments will be ready for this coming June at Varanasi, Vijayawada, Pune and Kolkata airports, under a contract with NEC India. The contract also includes maintenance for seven years.

The AAI has committed to investing Rs 250 billion ($3.3 billion) into Digi Yatra to expand the system over the next four to five years.

The Chief information Officer of airline Vistara, Vinod Bhat, tells Elets News Network that it began trialing face biometrics in partnership with “a few Indian airports” back in 2019, and that it is working with the AAI on the phased rollout of the technology.

HID sees growth for SAFE

HID Global says that its HID SAFE for Aviation is being used by many of the largest airports for unified identity and access management as they navigate a return to higher passenger volumes.

The company provides three examples: one in which an airport is managing 15,000 identities for secure access control, enhanced customer service, paperless records management and improved efficiency. Another has integrated HID SAFE with its existing infrastructure to manage nearly 1,000 badges, and a third supports a nation-wide initiative to assist two dozen airports with compliance to government standards.

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