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Air travel industry’s investment in biometrics and AI keeps climbing

Air travel industry’s investment in biometrics and AI keeps climbing

Biometrics are among the top priorities for airports and airlines, who are spending more money than ever on IT upgrades to support customer journeys, data processing and optimized energy consumption, according to the latest insight report from SITA.

The newly published 2023 Air Transport IT Insights report says airports spent an estimated US$10.8 billion and airlines spent about US$34.5 billion on IT. Per a news release, biometrics are popular for helping to curb congestion, with 70 percent of airlines hoping to have biometric ID management in place by 2026, and 90 percent investing in further biometrics R+D.

As well, the two-thirds of airports and airlines that collect and integrate passenger data now want to use AI to process that data for insights and increased efficiency. As such, 97 percent of airlines and 82 percent of airlines are investing in AI by 2026.

“As we approach a full recovery of passenger demand for air travel, with domestic travel even surpassing pre-pandemic levels in some regions, airlines and airports have learned from the congestion and disruptions seen in the past two years,” says David Lavorel, CEO of SITA. “Advanced data sharing and analytics tools will allow them to unite stakeholders and identify opportunities for greater efficiency and leaner operations.”

The full report is available for download.

Facephi brings digital ID verification, facial recognition to Spanish airports

Mexico’s Facephi has announced the integration of its digital identity verification into select airports in Aena’s Spanish network. The firm’s selfie-to-document matching system will be deployed for ID verification at check-in, which can be done on-site or via the Aena app. Facial recognition will follow the passenger through their journey to facilitate access at boarding gates and checkpoints.

“Importantly,” says a Facephi release, “the identity verification solutions we have implemented are aligned with the principles of ethical biometrics, rigorously complying with ISO regulations and the GDPR statutory framework and thus ensuring respect for privacy and protection of personal data.”

The integration comes as the European Investment Bank (EIB) agrees to loan Aena €140 million(~$US150 million) to finance safety upgrades and operational resilience at Spanish airports. While the bulk will go to aviation safety measures such as runway works and taxi redesign, money is also available for innovation, including biometric equipment and data-driven systems to improve customer experience and terminal efficiency.

Indian airports expedite journey for international travelers with biometrics

Finally, the Times of India reports that the Indian government is hoping biometric processing and e-gates can help make immigration and security checks faster for international travelers. Airports in Delhi, Mumbai and Bengularu are slated for changes that include interior airport design and new digital ID integrations.

“We are currently discussing the design models to speed up immigration and security for international travelers,” says aviation minister Jyotiraditya Scindia. “New technologies such as e-biometrics are also on the anvil are currently being tested. These will be key in our vision for international aviation hubs in India.”

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