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United leveraging Apple biometrics for more efficient airplane maintenance sign-offs

United leveraging Apple biometrics for more efficient airplane maintenance sign-offs

United Airlines is expanding its use of iPads with a system for confirming maintenance operations through Apple’s Touch ID fingerprint biometrics.

Biometrics enable the digital signatures on maintenance release documents (MRDs), and have resulted in a 20 percent decrease in delays from technical operations on quick turns, according to the company announcement. Deferred maintenance tasks have been cut by 30 percent.

MRD processes are now 10 minutes faster, on average, for a total of 13 million minutes worth of customer delays eliminated.

Biometric document signing has also prevented delays for 4,300 flights, affecting 684,000 passengers annually, reports CIO Dive.

The airline claims to have distributed more than 120,000 Apple devices to its employees since 2011.

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration requires maintenance release documents to be signed off on by ground technicians prior to flight take-off. The FAA has allowed United to digitize that sign-off process by using the native biometrics built into iPads. United is the first to receive the approval, according to CIO Dive.

Apple devices are also used to manage meal pre-orders to reduce food waste, among dozens of apps and platforms from the tech giant used by United.

On the passenger side, United has biometrics partnerships with Clear for identity checks at hub airports, and SITA Smart Path for several processes at SFO.

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