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New biometrics deployments at US, Greek, German airports

New biometrics deployments at US, Greek, German airports

Updates and new data show steady growth in biometric applications for air travel, with a new survey from Ipsos revealing that almost half of Americans would use biometrics to speed up domestic journeys, and SITA completing the implementation of its airport management solution at Athens International Airport. A new post by Vision-Box highlights the importance of UX/UI in the travel ecosystem, Clear has launched its biometric Expedited Lanes at San Diego International Airport, and Star Alliance Biometrics, supported by NEC and SITA, goes live at another German airport.

Ipsos survey highlights biometrics split among air travelers

The yearly study was commissioned by Airlines for America (A4A), and aims to collect important statistics about air travel.

The 2022 edition of the report was conducted online between 3 and 17 February 2022, and collected responses from roughly 10,000 adults aged over 18 from across the U.S., including approximately 3,700 adults who flew in 2021.

Among the key findings, Ipsos reported that 47 percent of Americans would opt for biometrics to ensure a faster domestic journey, against 25 percent who said they would not, and 28 percent who were unsure.

Digitalization of air travel was also a trend in the latest Ipsos survey, with 80 percent of those surveyed saying they used mobile devices to check in when not checking in bags.

Similarly, over 60 percent of respondents said they felt comfortable using their mobile devices to board aircrafts.

SITA completes airport management deployment in Athens

Air transport communications and IT provider SITA has completed the deployment of its airport management solution at the Athens International Airport.

The technology will enable data sharing of airport processes with airlines, government agencies, air navigation service providers and other entities.

Data managed via the SITA system will include flight departures and estimated landing times, employee and equipment location and status.

“SITA’s Airport Management supports greater collaboration by providing a single view to all stakeholders across the airport to drive faster, easier, and informed decision-making,” explains SITA President for Europe Sergio Colella.

“This capability is essential for achieving more efficient and sustainable operations both during the pandemic and once traffic returns to growth.”

The deployment in Athens comes days after SITA praised the advancements made in Apple’s digital ID in relation to aviation industry biometrics.

Vision-Box highlights importance of UX/UI in air travel

The post, written by Vision-Box User Experience (UX) Manager Dan Ferreira, starts by quoting a Forrester study suggesting that companies which invest in UX typically see a lower cost of customer acquisition, lower support cost, increased customer retention, and increased market share. This is true for the air travel industry as well, according to Ferreira.

“In the travel industry, digital experiences are now everywhere — from destination planning, through booking, to ticket purchase, and the travel journey itself,” the UX expert writes.

“Today’s travelers can use their personal mobile devices to tag luggage and scan boarding passes and use their face as a digital token as they pass through biometric screening at the transport hub.”

It is therefore important, Ferreira believes, that such experiences are as personalized as possible.

“We adapt our biometrics algorithm for each one of the solutions (it’s not one-size-fits-all), but we always have to validate it, because the interactions with the different touchpoints are different from each other as well.”

Similarly, Ferreira says Vision-Box always takes into account that business cases and needs are different in each case.

“We develop the User Experience and the User Interface according to these parameters.”

According to these principles, Vision-Box recently selected Unisys for two digital workplace solutions earlier this month to support its biometric smart gates at ten Australian international airports and New Zealand’s busiest airport.

Clear launches biometric program at San Diego International Airport

Biometric identity firm Clear said it has launched its expedited lanes system at San Diego International Airport, marking the 43th deployment of the technology.

According to the company, the move will create approximately 27 new jobs and an overall economic impact of upwards of $2.4 million for the region.

The system uses iris biometrics to authenticate passengers, replacing the need to take out a wallet or driver’s license. After successful authentication, passengers are then escorted by a Clear Ambassador through a dedicated lane and directly to TSA physical security.

“Not only does Clear significantly cut down security wait times for members, their technology uses traffic data and terminal walking times to tell you exactly when to leave your home to get to your gate in time,” comments Nathan Fletcher, chair of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors.

“Clear’s lanes are just one more example of San Diego Airport’s commitment to innovation and putting passengers first.”

The deployment comes weeks after the company announced it had reached a milestone of 12 million total cumulative enrollments across its platform.

Star Alliance biometrics launched in Hamburg

Facial recognition software provided by Star Alliance in partnership with algorithm developer NEC have reached a fourth implementation, according to the company website, with deployment at Hamburg Airport (HAM). The system also integrates SITA Smart Path.

A single biometric token will be used across a variety of airport services, including touchless self-service baggage drop, security access, airport and airline lounge access, and flight boarding. Lufthansa Group carriers Lufthansa, Swiss and Austrian Airlines will utilize the Star Alliance Biometrics technology to begin, with more airlines expected to follow in its adoption.

The deployment follows launches in Frankfurt, Munich and Vienna.

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