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Biometrics delivering faster traveler journeys amid new deployments in India, US, Mexico

Biometrics delivering faster traveler journeys amid new deployments in India, US, Mexico

India’s Digi Yatra face biometrics program is expected to reach several more of the country’s largest airports by next year, according to an update provided to lawmakers. Airport infrastructure upgrades have been also been unveiled at multiple airports in the U.S., and in Mexico, where Vision-Box is supplying stations for ID document verification and biometrics collection.

Digi Yatra to reach 7 airports

India’s government plans to introduce biometrics at seven of the country’s largest airports by March, 2023, through its Digi Yatra program, BusinessToday reports.

Biometrics deployments are planned for Delhi, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Pune, Kolkata, Varanasi and Vijayawada airports. NEC Technologies India was selected to provide biometric technology for Digi Yatra deployments at Varanasi, Kolkata, Pune and Vijayawada back in 2019.

Minister of State for Civil Aviation General VK Singh told the lower chamber of parliament that preliminary testing and passenger registration systems have been completed at the seven airports listed above. The process remains voluntary, with manual traveler checks still available.

India unveiled the data protection rules for Digi Yatra late last year.

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture has likewise endorsed global best practices for biometric passenger screening to the Lok Sabha, according to NewsOnAIR. The availability of iris biometrics in the Aadhaar database could be leveraged for faster, non-intrusive screening, the Committee suggests.

Biometric bag drop expanding as Delta unveils first phase of LAX modernization

The first major phase of Delta’s modernized Sky Way terminal at Los Angeles International (LAX) has been completed, with 32 self-service biometric kiosks for passenger check-ins.

The consolidated check-in and baggage drop area was completed through an infrastructure investment partnership with Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA). A partnership with the U.S. Transportation Security Administration means that qualifying passengers departing LAX can use facial recognition and a digital identity made up of their SkyMiles Member number, passport number and Known Traveler Number, to complete hands-free bag checks, according to the announcement.

The project was discussed by representatives of Delta and LAWA in a recent Future Travel Experience webinar.

Meanwhile at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL), Spirit Airlines reports that travelers are experiencing shorter check-in times now that its biometric self bag-drop system is live. The new process will give travelers the option, following an initial testing period, to check their bags without handing their government-issued ID document to an agent.

Spirit says it developed the first face biometric solution in the U.S. for domestic air travel back in 2019 through a partnership with Materna Intelligent Passenger Solutions (IPS) North America.

The range of government-issued IDs the TSA accepts is also increasing, with TSA Administrator David Pekoske stating he expects “many airports this year” to follow Arizona’s Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX) to support the use of mobile driver’s licenses in digital wallets.

Pekoske made the comment in regards to the launch of Arizona’s mDLs for Apple Wallet, and the TSA acceptance of them for security checks.

Another passenger screening change announced by the TSA is the replacement of current Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) units with gender-neutral scanning systems at airport security checkpoints. The TSA is also updating its standard operating procedure to reduce the number of pat-downs performed.

Vision-Box biometrics launched in Saint Lucia, Mexico

Felipe Angeles International Airport (AIFA) in Santa Lucia, Mexico has brought a biometrics deployment powered by Vision-Box to operation, as of late-March, for automated passenger security processing, the company has announced.

The deployment, carried out for the Mexican Secretariat of National Defense (SEDENA) at AIFA, includes 16 Pre-Security Gates for automatic identity document verification, 74 of Vision-Box’s Self-Boarding Gates, and 58 kits of equipment for biometrics enrollment at conventional check-in counters, according to the announcement.

The new digital identity system enabled by the deployment includes pre-arrival check-ins and overall integration through Vision-Box’s Orchestra Identity Management Platform.

The project is the product of a strategic alliance with Apollocom and Amadeus.

“We believe this technology project is the first step in Vision-Box’s mission to make the aviation industry more efficient, leading to better performing passenger processing models in the Mexican market,” states Vision-Box CEO Miguel Leitmann. “We are excited to contribute to this initiative for SEDENA and together deliver safe, secure, and seamless experiences to the travelers who chose to fly via Felipe Angeles International Airport.”

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