in Technology

Airlines and airports investing in biometrics to deliver a seamless passenger journey

Posted 28 September 2018 · Add Comment

Airlines and airports are investing to deliver secure and easy travel for passengers, with biometric technology a key priority. This is according to research released today by global IT provider SITA.

 

The SITA 2018 Air Transport IT Insights show how biometrics are being incorporated into the evolution of self-service at the world’s airports. Over the next three years, 77% of airports and 71% airlines are planning major programs or R&D in biometric ID management.

Barbara Dalibard, CEO, SITA, said: “Secure and seamless travel is a must for the air transport industry. It is encouraging to see that both airlines and airports are investing in biometric technology to deliver a secure, paperless way to identify passengers across multiple steps of the journey. We have already seen great success where we have implemented it at airports across the world.

“As the research shows, integration causes challenges and the variety of legislative demands can be daunting for airlines and airports. To deliver a seamless passenger experience, we must all collaborate – airlines, airports, governments and industry suppliers – and use technology to automate, and even eliminate, tedious processes. We achieve the best results when we work together, this has been most apparent when we incorporate secure biometrics into the passenger journey.”

SITA already delivers identity management solutions, including biometric systems, that eliminate the need for manual checks. These improve the passenger experience while helping airlines and airports across the world meet the variety of regulations from Governments and border agencies. The most common of these is identity verification at self-service check-in kiosks. This is already in use at 41% of airports and 74% have plans to deploy the technology by the end of 2021. Self-boarding gates using biometrics with ID documentation, such as a passport, are also set to become commonplace over the next three years, with 59% of airports and 63% of airlines expecting to use them.

SITA’s research shows that the industry faces some challenges for the full adoption of biometrics for passenger identity checks. More than one third of airlines cite integrating the tools and technologies at airports, and a lack of standards for processes and technologies for integrating checks, as the major challenges. For airports, the situation is similar, though 39% of them say meeting government and legislative requirements is also a major challenge. 

Airlines and airports are also considering new technologies for passenger identity management. One example is blockchain; 40% of airlines and 36% of airports believe the main benefit that blockchain can provide is to streamline this process, for example by reducing the need for multiple ID checks.

Overall, investment in technology is rising. SITA’s research shows investment by airlines over the past two years has been stable but future predictions for both operating and capital spend are very strong in 2018 with a forecast of 3.67% IT spend as a % of revenue. Airport spend will be strong too, with a forecast of 5.69% of revenue for this year.

Airlines are also investing in new technologies which offer them strategic and operational benefits. Artificial intelligence (AI) is seen as beneficial across a range of airline operations with 84% of airlines planning to have major or R&D programs in place by 2021. This is up from 52% in last year’s survey. Airports too are investing in AI with 61% planning a major program or R&D over the next three years, up from up from just 34% in 2017.

While both airlines and airports are investing in AI, their uses are different. Airlines are looking at the potential of using AI for virtual agents and chatbots with 85% planning to use it here by 2021. Some 79% of airports are currently using, or planning to use, AI for predictive analysis to improve operational efficiency.

Dalibard added: “It is clear that the will of the industry is to change the way we travel by improving efficiency and making the passenger journey as secure and seamless as possible. This requires a concerted and aligned drive, true collaboration, and SITA is fully committed to this.”

* required field

Post a comment

Other Stories
Advertisement
Latest News

First EgyptAir A220-300 makes maiden flight

The first A220-300 for EgyptAir has successfully completed its inaugural test flight from the Mirabel assembly line. The first of 12 aircraft EgyptAir has on order is due to be delivered to the Cairo-based airline in the coming weeks.

Ethiopian launches cargo flights to Bangkok and Hanoi

Ethiopian Cargo and Logistics Services has started once weekly freighter service to Bangkok, Thailand and Hanoi, Vietnam as of August 16, 2019.

AfDB banks on more regional integration

For several years the African Development Bank (AfDB) has been supporting commercial aviation in Africa and the organisation’s chief aviation officer, Romain Ekoto, has been explaining about current projects and his vision for the

IATA's WFS to focus on sustainable future

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced that the 2019 World Financial Symposium (WFS) will focus on the theme of airlines, IATA and partners working together to shape a sustainable future.

Universal Weather and Aviation agree to sell UVair Fueling Division to World Fuel Services

Global mission management provider, Universal Weather and Aviation, has signed a definitive agreement to sell its UVair Fueling Division to World Fuel Services.

Bole in pole position

Ethiopia’s increasingly relaxed visa regime and the expansion of the country’s national airline have helped Addis Ababa become Africa’s biggest long-haul transit hub. Alan Dron reports.

AVAFA20SK2207050320
See us at
AVAFA20BT2207050320Dubai AS BT2006211119MEBAA BT2006260919