Passenger Terminal Expo 2018, Stockholm: SITA outlines how biometrics are transforming travel

A new report from SITA, released during the Passenger Terminal Expo being held in Stockholm this week, has outlined how biometric technology will transform passenger processing in airports.

Titled Biometrics for Better Travel: An ID Management Revolution, the report illustrates how with passenger numbers set to double to 7.8 billion by 2036, biometrics will power faster and more secure self-service processes at airports.

With 63% of airports planning to invest in biometric ID management solutions within the next three years, the report explores innovative ID management solutions with the expectation that these programmes will be commonplace worldwide by 2021.

Mentioning how airlines around the world are required to check that passengers are who they say they are and that they have the correct travel documents, Sean Farrell, director, strategy & innovation, SITA, said: “Airlines and airports need to be able to move passengers through these checks as securely and quickly as possible. Efficient identity management is essential for better security while at the same time improving the passenger experience. Biometrics is the technology that can deliver this.”

While data protection and a hesitation from passengers to use biometrics has proved a blocker in the past, that’s all changing now. “The good news for airlines, airports and the various government agencies is that passengers are happy to use biometrics. The technology is becoming increasingly commonplace in people’s lives,” added Farrell.

The report also outlines  how airports must have a global consensus on how to securely resolve passenger identity issues as an integral part of the next generation of self-service systems. All industry stakeholders have a role to play to harness technologies that can make the processes better, faster and more secure.

“Passengers are ready and want to use biometrics. The easiest way for airlines and airports to make this happen is to use technology that integrates easily with their existing infrastructure – kiosks, bag drop, automated boarding gates. Moving to single token identity management where passengers can simply use their biometric, such as their face, at every checkpoint on their journey will speed passengers securely through the airport,” concluded Farrell.

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