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Innovative aviation biometrics integrations showcased, deployments expand in India and LA

Innovative aviation biometrics integrations showcased, deployments expand in India and LA

Several major airports in India are trialing full body scanners and facial recognition systems, while in Los Angeles, the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) introduces new biometric scanners for touchless identity verification. And the field of aviation biometrics continues to develop as an MIT entrepreneurship program and the 2022 Crystal Cabin Awards show what the future of the industry could look like with novel biometrics integrations.

Airports in India, LA install new biometric scanners as part of trials

India’s Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) will test full body scanners and facial recognition systems at some of the country’s largest airports, while a continent away, the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) introduces a new face biometric process as part of a 90-day trial.

The Free Press Journal reports that a trial run of full body scanners is taking place at airports in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Cochin, Hyderabad, Pune and Chennai. Certain shortcomings, which were not named, are said to have been found, which prompted a technical sub-committee to examine, evaluate, and recommend trial directives and testing protocols of the technology.

The CISF will be using millimeter wave technology over backscatter X-ray due to fewer radiation emissions, according to the Free Press Journal.

Furthermore, a pilot project of the Digi Yatra biometric digital processing system took place at airports in Mumbai, Varanasi, and Bangalore on orders of the Ministry of Civil Aviation. Digi Yatra aims to form a connected ecosystem that creates a seamless travel experience while maintaining security. Facial recognition systems and Digi Yatra will be tested at Hyderabad, Bangalore and Delhi airports, it adds.

The rules for biometric data handling under Digi Yatra, meanwhile, are slowly emerging as the system progresses towards a production rollout.

At LAX, a contactless facial recognition system to streamline the passenger experience is being tested, which has taken on particular emphasis during the COVID-19 pandemic.

ABC7 reports that the airport will use the biometric Credential Authentication Technology (CAT) devices that photograph the passenger and compare their facial features to government ID. No documents have to be exchanged with a passenger and TSA agent, which passengers quoted by ABC7 appreciated, along with the process’ speed.

The TSA will trial the biometric process for approximately 90 days at LAX, and will decide whether to expand it nationwide. Twelve other airports are testing the biometric system across the U.S., ABC7 says.

“We already know the security advantages of it, but knowing what they think as well is important to us,” says Keith Jeffries, a TSA Federal Security director at LAX.

The airport’s extensive biometrics plans were recently discussed by Los Angeles World Airports’ Aura Moore in an FTE webinar with Idemia and TSA representatives.

Innovations in aviation biometrics previewed

A two-week hybrid bootcamp to brainstorm proposals for the Airport Authority of Hong Kong conceives of biometric technology to expedite check-in and boarding and aid in drawing customers to airport amenities; and the 2022 Crystal Cabin Awards showcases iris biometrics as a potential technology for airplane cabins.

The MIT Entrepreneurship and Maker Skills Integrator (MEMSI), an entrepreneurial program by the MIT Hong Kong Innovation Node, has proposed a variety of innovations to improve businesses at airports in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, with biometrics playing a major part.

One is a ‘Flight Token,’ a biometric that would use facial recognition to enable contactless check-ins and boarding at airports. The designers envision it would accelerate the journey of passengers, and help the air travel industry rebound after the pandemic devastated the industry. “What we may see could be a strong rebounce especially for travelers after the travel ban lifts … an opportunity to make travel easier, flying as simple as riding the bus,” says Chris Au Young, general manager of smart airport and general manager of data analytics at the Airport Authority of Hong Kong.

Another student propositions a hybrid of geolocation data and biometrics to output personalized recommendations via passenger app to suggest foot traffic to restaurants, retail shops, and other airport amenities.

And the 2022 Crystal Cabin Awards announced a shortlist of innovators in aircraft innovation, with Gentex making an appearance.

The computer vision and aerospace company showcased an iris scanning system that spans the aircraft to authenticate crew when entering the cockpit or included in the seatback device screen to personalize the passengers’ media or shopping offerings.

The finalists will be announced in May 2022, and the winners will be crowned in June 2022.

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