Three of Canada’s major airports have joined together to buy and implement biometric kiosks and egates.
Toronto, Montreal and Calgary are jointly buying over 700 self-service check-in kiosks and boarding egates.
The airports are introducing the devices for departures and arrivals, and for domestic and international flights.
A big reason for the deployment is to improve the passenger experience by making it faster and easier to use the devices as they will have a common look and feel.
No details yet about the breakdown by airport or location within each airport. Or how many are kiosks, how many are egates and if any of them are self bag drops. To ensure the same look and feel everywhere will likely mean all existing kiosks and egates being removed.
All the kiosks and egates are contactless and have facial recognition biometrics built-in.
They will exceed Canadian accessibility requirements and include features like text-to-speech hardware, navigational keypads, height controls designed for wheelchair, tap and chip and pin payment for ancillary services like upgrades, lounge access and excess baggage .
All three airports are planning to start installing the self-service kiosks and egates early in 2023.
Aymeric Dussart, Vice President, Technology and Innovation – ADM Aéroports de Montréal:
“This announcement is the result of a unique collaboration among three major Canadian airports. This new platform will allow us to offer a harmonized digital airport experience for passengers and a unique technology integration approach for carriers operating in Canada. We are also delighted to collaborate once again with SITA, a long-standing partner with a significant presence in Montréal that has made our city its centre of excellence in innovation.”
Megan Gupton, Chief Technology Officer & Senior Director IT for The Calgary Airport Authority:
“Our combined vision is to offer the best passenger experience in Canada and highest-quality services to our airlines and industry partners. As air traffic rebounds, we see several benefits to our guests in furthering technological solutions like facial recognition boarding—getting us closer to our goal of being a contactless airport.”
Ian Clarke, Chief Financial Officer, Greater Toronto Airports Authority:
“This important partnership is pivotal in providing our passengers with the airport experience of the future. As travel continues to ramp up, we are committed to cultivating a smoother process for our passengers, and this new technology represents a key element of achieving this objective.”
All the biometric devices are coming from Swiss-based SITA who will also provide operational support.
SITA is a long time leader in airport self-service and common use systems.
In May 2022, SITA announced a deal with Miami International Airport (MIA) to introduce biometric boarding at all gates in 2023. That project is in cooperation with nec.
Matthys Serfontein, President for the Americas at SITA:
“We know that passengers want more control of their journey with automated solutions that make travel fast and convenient. We are pleased to bring this experience to three of Canada’s busiest airports and build on our long-standing partnerships.”
N.B. Image credits: Montreal Airport, Frankfurt Airport, SITA