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Airports upgrade IT systems to pave way for biometrics

Airports upgrade IT systems to pave way for biometrics

Upgrades to the passenger processing systems of airports across India by SITA and Materna will make future deployments of biometrics easier, while an airport in Kosovo is moving its systems to the cloud with Amadeus. A face biometrics app with CUbox technology is about to go live in Korea, meanwhile, and more passengers can use gates with face biometrics from Veridos and secunet in Germany.

SITA has struck a deal with the Airports Authority of India to supply technologies that pave the way for biometric passenger processing at airports across the country.

The company will deploy cloud technologies for check-in counters, self-service kiosks, and boarding gates to be used by multiple airlines at 43 airports, with an expansion planned to an additional 40 Indian airports over the next seven years. The SITA technologies are expected to improve more than 2,700 passenger touchpoints. During that period, the airports will process 500 million passengers, according to the company announcement.

The number of airports in India is also expected to rise from 148 to 220 by 2025.

The deal includes SITA’s Flex, CUPPS, CUSS, and Bag Manager platforms, which are certified by IATA.

Biometrics are not necessarily part of the initial deployment, but the technology’s future use is named among benefits for Indian airports, along with higher operational efficiency and enhanced transparency from a real-time information dashboard.

The deployment quietly kicked off last May.

Noida International Airport is meanwhile deploying SITA’s Airport Management System to improve efficiency for airlines and passengers.

SITA President of Asia Pacific Sumesh Patel says it is the “first greenfield deployment in the Indian Sub-Continent (ISC) region.”

Like SITA’s deal with India’s airport authority, Materna IPS is deploying passenger processing systems at Terminal 2 of Kempegowda International Airport Bengaluru (BLR Airport) that support the future integration of biometrics.

Technologies for self-bag drop are currently being used by passengers flying Air Asia India and Air Vistara, and a payment solution for excess baggage is being integrated.

Materna’s Flex.Go biometric bag drop system was launched at LAX last year.

Pristina International Airport in Kosovo utilizes bag drop and luggage handling technologies from Amadeus, through an agreement which has now been extended to migrate its passenger processing system to the cloud.

Self-service check-in kiosks, self-service bag drop stations, boarding pass scans and automated pre-security checks will speed up passenger processing and reduce human error, Amadeus says in the announcement. The passenger services can also be more easily scaled up and down based on demand, and service points can be quickly relocated within the terminal.

Face biometrics launch in Korea, expansion in Germany

Incheon International Airport Corp. in Korea is implementing an app with facial recognition from CUbox for faster, document-free passenger processing, The Korea Times reports.

CUbox and Incheon International showed off the app with biometric authentication at CES 2023 at the beginning of the year. The service will go live at the end of July.

The ICN Smartpass app supports Korean, English, Chinese and Japanese languages, and can be downloaded from the Apple App Store or Google Play store.

“The smartpass service is expected to help improve passengers’ convenience and enhance airport security,” IIAC President Lee Hag-jae says, according to the Times. “We will make thorough preparations so the service can begin without a hitch in time for the summer peak season.”

Frankfurt International Airport and seven other airports in Germany are extending the EasyPASS facial recognition system for passenger processing to residents from non-EU countries to reduce passenger congestion, Simple Flying reports.

EasyPASS was developed by Veridos and secunet, and matches the face biometrics of passengers with the images stored in the electronic chip of their travel ID document.

The program is now available to people from the European Economic Area, Switzerland, the U.S., Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan who hold a German residence permit. Those from outside the EEA and Switzerland must pre-register, and all passengers must be 12 years old or more to use the system.

There are 255 eGate lanes using EasyPASS between the 8 airports.

Frankfurt Airport is expected to reach between 80 and 90 percent of pre-Covid travel numbers by the end of 2023.

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