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SITA white paper explores airport biometrics successes as rollouts expand

HID and Assa Abloy partner on self-boarding gates
SITA white paper explores airport biometrics successes as rollouts expand

Explosive growth in air travel numbers, from 4 billion travelers in 2019 to 8 billion in 2040, according to the latest forecast by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), necessitates the adoption of face and fingerprint biometrics to keep people moving. This is the chief argument of SITA’s new “Face the Future” white paper on biometrics in air travel.

Legacy processes and manual passenger processing infrastructure are already failing to facilitate fast and convenient travel journeys, prompting initiatives like Star Alliance Biometrics and India’s Digi Yatra, both of which use SITA’s Smart Path technology and are presented as case studies in the white paper.

The white paper also examines different ways biometrics are deployed in the airport, including the use of SITA Flex, SITA Border Management, and SITA Digital Travel Credentials (DTC) solution, which were used to create Aruba’s Happy One Pass.

Digi Yatra has reached Manohar International Airport in Goa, meanwhile, with three touchpoints for passenger processing with face biometrics instead of physical boarding passes, reports the Times of India.

Biometric e-gates have rolled out at Terminals 3 and 4 of King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, reports the Saudi Gazette. The deployment marks the first for biometric passport scanners in the country, according to the report.

SITA was selected to modernize technology at King Khalid International back in 2018.

HID partners on biometric self-boarding gates

HID has partnered with parent company Assa Abloy to integrate the former’s U.ARE.U face biometrics with the latter’s Speed Gate for biometric self-boarding procedures.

The integrated gates will feature accurate biometric matching in various lighting conditions and backgrounds, passive presentation attack detection (PAD) to thwart spoof attempts and in-device processing to keep bandwidth needs low while supporting security and privacy, courtesy of U.ARE.U’s camera identification system, according to the announcement. HID’s algorithms have also been assessed among the leaders in NIST testing, and trained to prevent algorithmic bias.

The companies will exhibit their joint solution at Passenger Terminal Expo 2024, April 16 to 18.

U.S. implementations grow

The U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has added eight airlines to its PreCheck program to allow faster airport screening with biometrics.

The addition of Air Premia, Air Tahiti Nui, Air Transat, Bahamasair, BermudAir, Iberia, La Compagnie and New Pacific Airlines brings PreCheck to nearly 100 airlines.

PreCheck members are able to pass through dedicated lines at airport checkpoints in under 10 minutes about 99 percent of the time, according to the announcement.

Americans can enroll in PreCheck by enrolling their biometrics with either Idemia or Telos.

Clear has expanded to Boston Logan International Airport’s Terminal E, in a move expected to create 15 jobs and enable more travelers to pass quickly through the airport using biometrics.

The company’s deployment at Boston Logan expanded from Terminal A to Terminal B in late-2021. There are 56 airports across the U.S. with Clear’s expedited security lanes.

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