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Biometrics systems in airports warming with the weather

Biometrics systems in airports warming with the weather
 

Spring is approaching in the Northern Hemisphere and thoughts are turning to something resembling a normal travel season.

In fact, newly and nearly completed biometrics projects in the United States, Lithuania, China and India are expected to grease the wheels in some key travel markets.

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency, according to technology-culture publication Wired, has finished 16 years of systems updates allowing agents to verify cryptographic signatures in password RFID chips.

The chips, of course, hold more than autographs. There are biometric data like facial images stored on them, too.

Lithuanian government officials, meanwhile, are working on what are hoped to be finishing touches on that nation’s entry-exist system. The officials claim they are the first in the European Union to have finished preparations for the largely self-service system’s biometric infrastructure.

Hardware has been approved and software installation and configuration are next. The goal is to have it operational at three Lithuanian airports – Vilnius, Kaunas and Palanga — this year for €3 million, or US$3.2 million, without counting the value-added tax.

Next will be similarly self-service biometric terminals for third-country travelers at major international border-inspection stations.

China appears to be significantly ahead of Lithuania in border automation, according to a marketing article published by aviation industry vendor Sita.

Self-service check-in, baggage drop and boarding services are available in at least 80 percent of the nation’s airports, according to Sita And nine in 10 airports are making the development of touchless and mobile services their top investment priority.

Biometric ID management is next for investment, according to the vendor. Chinese officials reportedly want biometric systems controlling travelers at boarding gates and border stations. They are pushing for travelers each to have a biometric token by 2025 that is accepted at all official stages in an airport, according to Sita.

Next door, in India, government officials say terminal two of Gandhi International Airport should support Digi Yatra in April, according to the Hindustan Times.

Digi Yatra is a program that uses facial recognition to support paperless, contactless and seamless passenger processing.

Similar work was completed several years ago in terminal three.

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