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Biometrics continue to enhance airport security, traveler experience

Smart airports market to reach $8.3B by 2027
Biometrics continue to enhance airport security, traveler experience

Several airlines and airports around the world are involved new biometrics projects designed to increase security and create contactless traveler experiences. The market is expected to continue its robust growth for the foreseeable future.

Idemia is carrying out the second phase of a biometrics deployment at Australian airports under a contract renewed last year. eGates will be integrated with kiosks at eight airports to enable facial recognition of travelers using a previously enrolled image.

One hundred and nine of the company’s Gen3 Kiosks were installed at airports in Darwin, Adelaide, Brisbane, Cairns, Coolangatta, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney for phase one, which was completed in 2021. The facial image captured as part of a one-to-one comparison at the kiosk is used at the eGates, without need for a separate token.

“We are delighted that the Australian government has once again selected IDEMIA as their partner of choice to help enhance the passenger journey,” says Idemia SVP for APAC Public Security & Identity Wee Liang Tan. “We are proud of this 18-year partnership that is still going strong today. The innovative Gen3 border control solution contains advanced biometric capabilities that not only help streamline the passenger’s airport experience, but also increase security.”

SITA and NEC biometrics live in Philadelphia, tested in Turkey

Philadelphia International Airport is deploying SITA’s Smart Path with NEC’s I:Delight to implement face biometrics for Customs and Border Protection’s Biometric Exit program.

The technology is being installed at 25 boarding gates to process departing passengers on international flights. The first 10 are already operational, with the remainder scheduled to reach operation by mid-April.

PHL Chief Information Officer Allen Mehta says the ongoing use of other SITA systems in the airport will make the integration seamless.

Meanwhile on the other side of the globe, Turkish Airlines is testing the Star Alliance biometrics access system with a business consortium operating Istanbul Grand Airport, one of the world’s newer major facilities. Star Alliance’s biometric system is built by SITA and NEC.

The news was reported by Future Travel Experience, which also said the partners are installing dedicated infrastructure.

Passengers in Star Alliance frequent flyer programs already can register for the biometrics service, uploading a selfie and a photo of their passport. They will then be able to go through the airport’s biometric checkpoints without having to present their travel documents.

The system being tested boasts mask detection so passengers can be identified while masked.

Biometrics cut waits by 50 percent in Brazil

Airliner Latam Brasil announced it has reduced passenger wait times by roughly 50 percent in Brazil in 2022 using biometrics and other digital technologies.

According to Simple Flying, the airline started using biometrics for boarding at Congonhas Airport in São Paulo and Aeroporto Santos Dumont in Rio de Janeiro earlier this year.

The same data also suggests 70 percent of Latam’s passengers use kiosks to print luggage tags and 80 percent use the airline’s online and app check-in services.

CUbox, Incheon airport to participate in CES 2023

The operator of South Korea’s government-owned Incheon International Airport will present its biometric services at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2023 in Las Vegas through January 8.

The news comes from Pickool, who said the airport will showcase both its biometric authentication pass system by CUbox and a metaverse app enabling users to explore the airport using their phones.

The CUbox biometric system will enable passengers to go through the departure lounge and boarding gate without a passport.

Incheon International officials say they will pilot the pass system in terminals 1 and 2 in 2024, the same year they say it will be available at most gates.

Smart airports market to reach $8.3B by 2027

The biometric deployments come amidst an upward trend in the smart airports market.

According to a new report by MarketsandMarkets, the segment’s size is projected to grow from $7 billion in 2022 to $8.3 billion by 2027, a compound annual growth of 3.5 percent from 2022 to 2027.

The data also suggests that biometrics will play a vital role in the growth.

“To expedite the screening process, airports use dependable endpoint devices like biometrics, RFID, beacons, and so forth,” reads the report.

“Customer experience and airport operations have both improved with the deployment of endpoint devices. Furthermore, improvements in endpoint devices have raised security standards and streamlined airport security checks.”

Asia Pacific is expected to account for the most significant growth in the forecast.

Companies mentioned in the report include SITA, Thales and Amadeus.

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