Airlines and airports all over the globe are using more and more biometrics – mainly facial recognition.
Frankfurt Airport is the latest airport to announce it is implementing a biometric system that uses facial recognition.
Beginning later in 2023, passengers traveling through the airport can use facial recognition to identify themselves at multiple points in their trip through the airport.
At each touchpoint – from enrolment at a kiosk or desk, to pre-security automated gates and self-boarding gates – a high definition camera scans the passenger’s face and compares what it finds with the details stored in the airport system.
To use the system, passengers enrol – give their facial biometrics, passport details etc – at a kiosk or via an app. From then on, whenever they need to identify themselves, their face is scanned and checked against the enrolled details.
This biometric system will be available to all interested airlines at the airport at all terminals.
Passengers who do not wish to use the solution can check in using a traditional check-in counter.
Lufthansa and Star Alliance
For Lufthansa passengers, by far the largest airline at Frankfurt, the technology makes use of the biometric identities of Lufthansa passengers enrolled on Star Alliance’s platform.
Passengers only need to enrol once and can then use their biometrics data multiple times at touchpoints of any participating airport whenever they travel with a Star Alliance member airline who has implemented Star Alliance Biometrics.
More on Star Alliance Biometrics
- Star Alliance Biometrics launched at Frankfurt and Munich
- Star Alliance now using biometrics at Hamburg Airport
- Austrian deploys facial recognition at Vienna airport
Benefits for passengers, airlines and airports
Let no one think biometrics at airports are being introduced just to save passengers taking their passport out of their pockets one or twice at an airport.
The real benefits are for the airlines, airports and governments.
- Passengers – more contactless and no need to use ID documents and boarding passes
- Airlines and airports – cut costs by using more automation and less staff, more revenue opportunities
- Government – Enhanced security and facilitation due to more accurate information and much more pre-screening of passengers
The system is a collaboration between Swiss-based SITA and Japanese company NEC.
The whole system comes under the umbrella of the SITA Smart Path platform., where a passenger’s face is their ID and boarding pass.
The system includes the NEC I:Delight digital identity management platform, which is fully integrated with SITA Smart Path. NEC are the biometrics experts.
More on SITA, NEC and biometrics
SITA and Frankfurt have been working together for decades and Frankfurt is perhaps seen as SITA’s top airport. SITA has a lot of self-service kiosks at Frankfurt.
IATA One ID
It is expected the new biometric system will comply with IATA’s One ID program.
One ID introduces an opportunity for the passenger to further streamline their journey with advance sharing of information and a contactless process at the airport based on biometric recognition.
N.B. Image credit: Lufthansa