Amadeus, Vision-Box biometrics secure multiple airport passenger touchpoints
Some airports continue to move toward biometrics as default verification. One of the hopes facility managers have for new biometrics deployments is that they can speed concourse activity for travelers, not the least of which is baggage handling, as SITA argues in a recent post to its website.
Noida to get biometrics from Amadeus for boarding, check-in and baggage
At Noida International Airport, in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, travel-industry software firm Amadeus has been hired to create a biometric passenger processing system (PPS). A company release says Amadeus is to “design, supply, commission, operate and maintain the cloud-hosted end-to-end PPS” for Noida. Boarding, check-in and baggage claim are to be integrated with the Digi Yatra face biometrics system.
Sarah Samuel, Amadeus’ senior vice president of airport and airline operations in the Asia-Pacific region, called the contract a milestone for Amadeus in India.
“We look forward to supporting an end-to-end airport journey based on innovative cloud, self-service and biometric technology that delivers a smooth and relaxed airport experience,” Samuel says.
Vision-Box bringing biometrics to Ezeiza Airport
A similar scheme is being readied for a new terminal in Argentina’s Ezeiza International Airport, where Vision-Box will provide the infrastructure for smoother passenger movement.
In a release, Vision-Box said its Seamless Journey platform, comprised of 14 biometric self-service, presecurity gates, will automate boarding-pass control and passenger processing, and make Ezeiza a technologically advanced airport in Latin America.
Ezeiza, also called Ministro Pistarini International Airport, is the main airport serving the capital Buenos Aires and handles more passengers than any other airport in Argentina. The new terminal is estimated to be able to process 30 million passengers per year.
Facial recognition trials in Vietnam, launches in Berlin
Facial recognition software is being installed at airports in Vietnam and Germany. Vietnam Plus reports that the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) is going ahead with biometric authentication at Phu Bai International, which serves the central city of Hue. In addition to facial verification, the system will read chip-embedded identification. The Phu Bai trial is scheduled to wrap June 13. Similar systems are planned at other airports.
New biometric access control is in place at Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER), says Aviation 24. BER Traveller will enable members of Lufthansa Group’s loyalty program who have preregistered their biometric data to enter priority security lanes using facial recognition instead of a pass. The biometric data is stored locally by FastID, which is working for BER to expand the service to boarding gates and member lounges. For now, the service is only available to Lufthansa HON Circle members.
US juggles biometric leap with social, political concerns
Many airports in the United States are already deploying biometrics. With rights and freedoms at the center of many American conversations, it is not surprising that concerns about privacy have followed their implementation.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is piloting a face-matching program in 16 U.S. airports.
Some privacy advocates and policymakers, however, see the potential for a snowball effect that could quickly make other options obsolete. An article from the Associated Press quotes a letter from five U.S. senators calling on the TSA to halt the pilot program, citing concerns about algorithmic bias and surveillance overreach: “Increasing biometric surveillance of Americans by the government represents a risk to civil liberties and privacy rights.”
As in many sectors, the Covid pandemic accelerated the adoption of touchless products and systems in air travel. As such, there is more urgency to questions about where and how data is stored, who can access or share it and what could happen to it. History suggests — along with the TSA — that biometrics will eventually be required for air travel.
Meanwhile, the ultimate goal for airport workers remains unchanged. The AP quotes Jason Lim, a manager at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, during a technology demo: “What we are trying to do with this,” says Lim, “is aid the officers to actually determine that you are who you say who you are.”